Trainer John Thompson has confirmed that First Seal has returned from the spelling paddock to begin preparations for the 2015 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
First Seal was sent to the spelling paddock after she finished a disappointing sixth behind Amanpour in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 11 and she spent almost two months away from the stable before she returned earlier this week.
Thompson told Sky Racing HQ this morning that First Seal is the type of horse that thrives no matter what her surroundings and he said that the Fastnet Rock filly did very well during her stint in the spelling paddock.
“She is back in, she is doing well and I am very happy,” Thompson said.
“She likes both, she is a good doer and she would do well anywhere.
“This time she had a good break, she looks well, is nice and refreshed and she looks to have put on weight.
“She has come in a good size and she is not too fat.
“It will be a gradual progression up to getting the horse to trial and it is normally about eight weeks from a paddock to a trial.
“She will have two weeks trot and canter, the second two weeks it is a bit of half pace and three-quarter and then it is two weeks of evens and early galloping and the last two weeks is galloping into the trial.”
First Seal has been given the opportunity to step-up to 2000 metres on two occasions during her racing career, but she suffered surprise defeats in both the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) last year and the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) in the autumn.
Thompson said that he plans to keep First Seal to races no longer than 1600 metres during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he said that at this stage the rising four-year-old is likely to race exclusively in Melbourne during her spring preparation.
“I think this preparation we are going to aim at 1400 and a mile races and through the preparation we will decide if we want to go a step further than that,” Thompson said.
“It is just a matter of whether we campaign in Sydney or Melbourne and the early part of the campaign is probably a bit better suited in Melbourne and in the Sydney races she will get a fair bit of weight.
“They are all good options to have, but Melbourne is probably looking like the one.”
First Seal is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $26 with Ladbrokes.