Trainer John Thompson will delay his decision as late as possible to back up Flight Stakes winner First Seal in the Group 1 $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
First Seal scored an emphatic win in the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday beating the Chris Waller trained Winx and Thompson is toying with the idea of sending her around one more time before heading to the spelling to paddock.
“We will probably accept with her and make the decision late in the week,” Thompson told AAP.
Thompson had already dismissed the thought of travelling to Melbourne this weekend for the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield but was happy to wait until Saturday morning before giving the all clear to head back to Randwick.
“There was no talk of taking her to Melbourne for the Thousand Guineas,” Thompson said.
“She hasn’t been there before and the trip would be too much at this stage of her career.”
The way that First Seal exploded away from the rest of the field at the end of the 1600m of the Flight Stakes has convinced Thompson that the Fastnet Rock filly will have no trouble running out the 2000m of the Spring Champion Stakes.
“I think she will be a 2000 metre horse and the Spring Champion is there if we decide to go there,” Thompson said.
“She has come through the Flight Stakes well. She won’t do any hard work this week.
“She will have a three-quarter pace work-out on Thursday and that will probably tell us what to do.”
If Thompson decides to go ahead and start First Seal on Saturday, Jason Collett will take over the reins from Flight Stakes winning jockey Blake Shinn who is already committed to the Spring Champion Stakes favourite Sweynesse.
Shinn picked up the ride on the John O’Shea trained three year old after his regular rider Kerrin McEvoy became unavailable because of Melbourne engagements on the same day, including the ride on Rubick in the Group 2 $200,000 Anco Seed & Turf Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield.
Sweynesse is the winner of all his four race starts and is the current Spring Champion Stakes favourite at $2.10 with Ladbrokes.com.au following his win in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 27.
First Seal is also short in the betting at $2.50 ahead of the Paul Messara trained Panzer Division at $4.60 with the Gai Waterhouse’s pair of Hampton Court and Valentia sharing the next line at $8.