First Seal is yet to record a win at Group 1 level during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but trainer John Thompson believes that a return to Randwick will give the talented filly every possible chance to take out the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes this weekend.
First Seal started her autumn campaign with a strong second over an unsuitable distance in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 and she took out the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on February 28, but she was beaten as an odds-on favourite at Rosehill Gardens in both the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) on March 14 and the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later.
Thompson told AAP that he is unsure whether the step-up back to a mile is ideal for First Seal in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, but he believes that the Fastnet Rock filly will perform at her best on the large Royal Randwick track this weekend.
“I’m not a big fan of bringing horses back in distance, but there are advantages,” Thompson said.
“Coming back to Randwick is a big plus and eight is a good barrier for her so I am confident she will go well.”
First Seal was found with blood in her near-side nostril after the running of the Vinery Stud Stakes, but Thompson reported that the filly was found to have several abrasions to the top of its head and Racing New South Wales Senior Veterinarian Dr Craig Suann confirmed that that the blood was not consistent with a lung haemorrhage that would see the three-year-old receive a three month ban form racing.
The talented filly was still required to gallop in front of Racing New South Wales officials before she was allowed to take her place in the 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes field and Thompson said that his star galloper had come through the gallop well.
“She worked over 1200 metres with a mate this morning,” Thompson said.
“I think once they saw the cuts on her head it was obvious something had happened, but the stewards are just doing their due diligence and all is good.”
First Seal is currently available at 2015 Queen Of The Turf Stakes odds of $3.50 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Noble Protector ($3.60) and consistent mare Catkins ($4.60).