High quality mare First Seal needs a drying Randwick track to produce her best form in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on day two of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
First Seal’s wet weather record reads one second from one try of the heavy and two wins from five attempts on a soft surface while she is a four times winner on a good track.
The Fastnet Rock mare showed see was running back into form with a second up third on a good track in the Group 2 $200,000 Sunline Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 24 but trainer John Thompson is hoping the track can dry out for Saturday.
“Hopefully we don’t get too much more rain,” Thompson told racing.com.
“We just need a bit of a dry surface than what we have been getting.”
The 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival has been hit with some very wet weather with trainers, jockeys and horses having to cope with rain affected tracks for the last month and Randwick is looking to be wet again this Saturday after the track was rated a heavy 9 on Wednesday morning with more showers forecast for the lead up to the weekend.
Thompson took First Seal to Melbourne to escape the wet conditions and is happy with the way she has come through the Sunline Stakes and can see her peaking for the Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
“She is coming right. She has had a couple of runs now. First up she was too fat, second up she just got too far back and hit the line all right but you tell yourself that she is peaking at the right time,” Thompson said.
In contrast stablemate Zanbagh loves the wet and will be one of the main chances again if the track remains rain affected for Saturday after the six year old was back in the winner’s stall on a heavy Rosehill track with a narrow victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Emancipation Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 25.
“A mare in form, loves the wet, she is going very well,” Thompson said.
First Seal and Zanbagh worked together on a soggy Randwick track on Tuesday morning and Thompson was happy with the way they stretched out after they had a more searching hit out last Saturday morning.
“It was good work. They just went nice together. We did our main gallop on Saturday, today was just a nice tidy bit of work,” Thompson said.
“The grass is very wet so Zanbagh obviously gets through that a bit better than First Seal but both mares are in good shape and looking forward to Saturday.”
Both mares were out of luck at the barrier draw with First Seal (Blake Shinn) receiving barrier fourteen in the eighteen horse field while Zanbagh (Damian Lane) will have to overcome barrier sixteen.
Early betting for the Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf Stakes sees both mares at double figure odds with Zanbagh the best of the Thompson pair at $12 ahead of First Seal at $17 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Last start Group 1 William Reid Stakes winner Silent Sedition sits at the top of the market order at $4.80 ahead of the Chris Waller trained Foxplay at $6, Dixie Blossoms at $7.50 and Heavens Above at $8.