Group 1 winner First Seal has returned to the stables of trainer John Thompson to begin preparations for her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
First Seal made her racing debut with a fourth place finish at Canterbury in May and started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with a win in the Daily Press Group Plate (1100m) at Randwick on August 13 before she finished second behind Sweynesse in the TAB Early Quaddie Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 30.
The Fastnet Rock filly stamped herself as one of the leading fillies in Australia when she upset Winx and Earthquake to win the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and she proved that win was no fluke when she romped home to a dominant three lengths win in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
Thompson elected to back-up First Seal in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) a week later in what was expected to be a virtual match race with Sweynesse, but she finished second after Hampton Court finished over the top of his rivals.
First Seal spent just under two months in the spelling paddock before returning to her Royal Randwick stable earlier in the year and Thompson said that he is thrilled with the appearance of the three-year-old.
“First Seal has been in for a couple of days and she has settled in very well,” Thompson said.
“She spelled fantastic at Thing Big Stud and she is nice and healthy in the coat.
“She has put good condition on and seems like a very happy horse.”
Thompson is yet to work out an exact 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival path with First Seal, but races like the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 15, the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on March 28, the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 and the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) as well as the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on April 11 are all on the agenda for the talented filly.
First Seal is owned in partnership by the China Horse Club, Raffles Thoroughbred Racing and the Think Big Stud of Dato’ Tan Chin Nam and has already accumulated just under $500,000 in prizemoney for her connections.