First Seal knocks off the favourites in Tea Rose Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
September 20th, 2014

The John Thompson trained First Seal kept the bookies cheering as she continued the upset results at Randwick when she knocked off the favourites in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes (1400m).

First Seal was able to knock off the favourites in the Tea Rose Stakes at Randwick.

First Seal was able to knock off the favourites in the Tea Rose Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

First Seal was sent out at the healthy odds of $19 and winning rider Blake Shinn was able to push the Fastnet Rock filly up along the fence to beat the $1.80 favourite Winx by three quarters of a length with Earthquake, who was the second pick at $3.60, a head away in third spot.

Earlier in the day outsider Manawanui ($18) was also able to upset the favourite when he beat Rock Sturdy ($2.60) in the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).

Thompson has always held a high opinion of First Seal and said that back on a dry track was the main reason she was able to improve on her last second in a BenchMark70 Handicap over 1400m on a heavy track at Rosehill on August 30.

The Randwick track started off in the dead range at the beginning of the day but was upgraded to a good 3 prior to the running of the Tea Rose Stakes following a spate of wet tracks in Sydney over the last month.

“Back on a dry track. She just hasn’t been showing that turn of foot that we know she’s got at home,” Thompson said.

“She got a good run in the race from barrier one, she has run down two of the best fillies in the country there and she is untapped.”

“A very high class filly and hopefully she can go onto bigger and better things.”

“Once she gets over those classic distances she will really come to the fore. I said to the owners that these horses might be too nippy over the 1400m but class carries you a long way.”

Thompson, who was the head trainer for Patinack Farm, will be delighted to have such a high quality filly to go on with after the Nathan Tinkler organisation had its last runner at Newcastle on Wednesday when Hooked took out the Group 3 $150,000 Strathayr Cameron Handicap (1500m).

Winning jockey Blake Shinn gave First Seal a soft run just behind the two leaders Earthquake and Winx and believes that First Seal will develop into a Group 1 filly.

On face value, Blue Diamond winner Earthquake was disappointing again after getting an easy lead, but after skipping to the front at the 250m but faded over the last fifty metres to finish third.

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