First Seal was again the standout performer for John Thompson through autumn while unlucky not to post a second Group 1 success, and will likely be kept to races of around a mile upon resuming in the 2015 Spring Carnival.
The winner of the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) most notably last spring, First Seal returned this year for second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) on February 14th before taking out the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.
Returning to the paddock after two subsequent second place finishes in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Thompson confirmed the daughter of Fastnet Rock may begin her preparation in Sydney before floating to Melbourne for Group 1 feature races around a mile in distance.
“She’s on target for the spring and I’m pretty happy with her,” Thompson told Racing Ahead.
“She probably didn’t have much luck during the autumn.
“She’ll trial in the first week or two of August but her first-up run isn’t really set in stone yet.
“Her program will probably have a little bit to do with the weather; we want to dodge any wet weather if there is some about.
“We’ll stick around the mile (1600m) in races like the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), the Toorak Handicap (1600m), the Myer Classic (1600m) and maybe even the Emirates Stakes (1600m) after that.
“She’s got a brilliant turn of foot and I think at the mile she’s very good.”
Thompson confirmed First Seal has been included in nominations for the 2015 Cox Plate (2040m) but he will allow her form and results to dictate a berth.
“Over 2000m the jury is still out. Her two attempts at 2000m followed two very tough mile runs and she was a little bit dour but at this point in time we’re going to stick to the mile,” he said.
First Seal has posted four wins and a further five minors through her eleven career starts so far; taking out the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and finishing second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in her two spring starts either side of her Flight Stakes success.
Ladbrokes is currently offering First Deal at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $26.