John Thompson has named the Warwick Stakes 2015 at Randwick as the most suitable spring kick-off for his Group 1 winning filly First Seal following her solid trial on Friday morning behind Golden Slipper champ Vancouver.
Gai Waterhouse’s class colt Vancouver showed he was on track for another elite level win in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1200m) this September when winning heat two at Randwick’s Kensington track over 840m in 50.60 seconds.
Fourth in the same trial with Blake Shinn giving her a soft run was Thompson’s rising four-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock, First Seal.
It was her first official hitout since a sixth to Amanpour, winner of this morning’s opening trial over 1250m by one and a quarter lengths over the fellow Waterhouse-trained runner Adrift, in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) back in April.
That followed a strong autumn campaign from last October’s Flight Stakes winner, First Seal winning the Group 2 Surround Stakes before two Group 1 seconds behind Plucky Belle in the Coolmore Classic and Fenway in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill.
Shinn was more than impressed with the feel First Seal gave him in her trial, the hoop describing her as “awesome” to Racenet.
“She felt awesome,” Shinn said. “She looks good and did exactly what I wanted her to do.”
Her trainer was also thrilled with the trial effort saying it went precisely to plan.
“If I could have programmed how I wanted the trial to unfold, that would have been exactly how it went,” Thompson said.
Thompson is still weighing up the exact spring campaign of First Seal but is leaning towards running her first-up in the $175,000 Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22 – a track and distance she won the Surround Stakes by two and three quarter lengths over last campaign.
“The Warwick Stakes suits,” Thompson said. “1400-metres around Warwick Farm under weight-for-age conditions will be perfect.”
From there connections have plenty of options but one Grand Final consideration is the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, October 31.
If she’s extended out over further than a mile this preparation then the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m), a weight-for-age feature like the Warwick Stakes, becomes an option at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Pre-nomination Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au currently have First Seal listed as a $26 shot.
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