Last season’s New South Wales Racehorse Of The Year First Seal has recovered from hoof surgery and will be set for the Sydney Autumn Carnival next year.
First Seal was forced to miss the entire Spring Racing Carnival when a recurring foot abscess was finally diagnosed to be a deep seated rock like tissue that formed in a cavity left there from and an earlier issue.
“Everything has gone well so far and we’re looking forward to having her back,” trainer John Thompson told The Daily Telegraph.
“We’ll take her along slowly and pick off some suitable targets next year.”
First Seal was due to kick off her Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $250,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22 but Thompson had to scratched her when the hoof problem suddenly reappeared.
Thompson was mystified to see what the vets had found in her hoof following a MRI scan and said that he had never come across this type of injury in all his time he has been working in the racing industry.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years and worked in many big stables, but have never had something like this,” Thompspon said.
“I have never seen it before in my life. I had to Google it when they told me what it was.”
“It’s had like an old abscess blown out 12 months ago and it’s left a cavity in her foot. The foot has grown into a hard ball in that cavity and it’s like a rock in a shoe.
“Credit to my surgeon and vet Jonathan Lumsden because he said, ‘John, you need to get to the bottom of this because it’s acting weird’.
“We x-rayed it straight away and there was nothing and he said it was soft tissue so we had to get an MRI. Credit to him he could find something like that because it could have been lingering on for a long time. It’s good to get it out and move on.”
First Seal shot in the limelight as a three year old filly when she scored a three lengths win over Winx in the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the 2014 Sydney Spring Carnival.
The Fastnet Rock filly then resumed in the Autumn to run second in the Group 2 $175,000 Liberty International Underwriters Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 14 before returning to the winner’s stall with a two and three quarter lengths victory in the Group 2 $175,000 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on February 28.
First Seal was then sent out as the odds on favourite at her next two starts at Rosehill but found one too strong on both occasions.
The Peter Moody trained Plucky Belle burst through the pack to beat her a whisker in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 14 then the Victorian trained filly Fenway finished too strongly to beat her in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) two weeks later.
Then at her final run for the Autumn, First Seal was always well back in the field and failed to make up any ground when sixth to Amanpour in the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’.
First Seal has won on four occasions and has been in the runner’s up stall another five times from eleven starts, earning over $800,000 in prizemoney.