Jockey Blake Shinn gets his chance to regain the plum Spring ride on talented filly First Seal when she trials at Randwick on Friday.
Shinn was aboard First Seal when she won the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick during the 2014 Sydney Spring Carnival but was replaced by James McDonald after running second on her to Plucky Belle in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in the Autumn.
But McDonald couldn’t get the filly home in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill when a narrow second to Fenway and then ran sixth to Amanpour in the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’.
Trainer John Thompson said that Shinn would have the mount in Friday’s trial and hinted that Spring ride on First Seal could be shared between him and Hugh Bowman.
“Blake Shinn actually trials her on Friday. It will be either Blake or Hugh doing the riding, but at this stage it is Blake,” Thompson told RSN.
Thompson is happy with the progress of First Seal as she prepares for the upcoming Spring Carnival and said she will have an easy trial this week followed by a second trial in a couple of weeks before resuming in either the Group 2 $250,000 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 22 or the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield the following week.
“It depends on the weather. It could be the Memsie in Melbourne, it could be the Warwick Stakes in Sydney, just not quite sure yet,” Thompson said.
“She coming along nicely.”
“She should have her first barrier trial this Friday at Randwick and she will have another one a couple of weeks later and then we will head off to the races.”
The rest of First Seal’s campaign has been mapped out and the Fastnet Rock filly will be staying in Melbourne for the remainder of the Spring.
“Second up will probably be the Let’s Elope at Flemington and then onto the Sir Rupert Clarke and Toorak and probably Myer after that,” Thompson said.
“It is just a matter where she goes first up.”
The program Thompson has mapped out for First Seal will see her take on the mares in the Group 2 $200,000 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 12 and in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on October 31.
But in between she will be pitted up against all comers in the Group 1 $400,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 26 and in the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10.