Trainer John Thompson has revealed that Group 1 winning filly First Seal will resume in the 2015 Light Fingers Stakes at Royal Randwick on February 14.
First Seal was sent to the spelling paddock after she finished second behind Hampton Court in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11, but she has been back in work for almost a month and will make her first barrier trial in a public appearance at the end of the month.
Thompson told Sky Racing HQ that First Seal had filled out significantly during her stint in the spelling paddock and he is happy with her progress ahead of her 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign that will start with runs in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes, Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
“We were able to put her away nice and early and she had a good eight week spell,” Thompson said.
“She has come back bigger and stronger and hopefully that carries into the autumn.
“She always had a nice big frame, but she has filled out a bit more and probably put on 30 to 40 kilos.
“We are really happy with the way that she is coming along.
“She trials later this month and she runs first-up mid Feb on the 14th and her first two runs are in the set weight three-year-old fillies races over 1200 and 1400.
“Third-up she will go to the Coolmore in the handicap against the older mares and then we will decide off that run how she measures up against them and what our next race will be.”
First Seal stamped herself as the best three-year-old filly in Australia when she won the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m), but was beaten when she was stepped up to 2000 metres in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Thompson remains hopeful that First Seal has the ability to run out a strong 2000 metres and he said that he is likely to give the Fastnet Rock filly another chance over the trip in either the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28 or the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
“She got beat in that 2000 metre race, but probably because she had enough,” Thompson said.
“I don’t think that means she can’t run it and she is out of an Oaks winner, so that will stretch her out a bit.
“To my eye she looks like a really strong miler, but she will get a chance to run 2000 metres sometime this prep.”