John Thompson’s Group 1 winning mare First Seal has opened the clear favourite to take out the feature race in Sydney on Saturday with a first-up victory in the Warwick Stakes 2015 at Royal Randwick.
The four-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock is best known for her Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) victory at Randwick in October last year, her only win since being in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm in late February.
She had a strong autumn after that however with two Group 1 seconds in the Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill before a last start sixth to Amanpour in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on April 11.
Coming off two solid Sydney trials, First Seal kicks off her spring campaign in the $250,000 Group 2 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m), the weight-for-age romp to run as Randwick Race 6 at 3:40pm (AEST).
The event has attracted a strong field of 14 gallopers, First Seal leading the early Warwick Stakes betting at $3.20 through Ladbrokes.com.au with Tommy Berry aboard the favourite in barrier six.
In an open Warwick Stakes betting affair there are six other runners under double figures for the win including the market mover Kermadec ($6.50 into $6) for premier trainer Chris Waller.
Drawn one outside of First Seal in barrier seven with Glen Boss to ride, last start Doncaster Mile winning Teofilo stallion Kermadec makes his four-year-old debut on Saturday looking to bring his ace autumn form to the spring.
Nominated for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate in Melbourne this October, Kermadec was last seen winning the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 6 following a strong campaign that also included a third to Japan’s Real Impact in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
The next best in betting are then four hopes on an equal $8 quote to win with: the Bjorn Baker-trained last start Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) winning seven-year-old Burbero, fellow seven-year-old Messene drawn on the rails for Team Hawkes and coming off a Missile Stakes fifth, John O’Shea’s returning European import It’s Somewhat having his first run at the track and Waller’s former ATC Oaks winner Royal Descent.
Jumping from a nice barrier three draw with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, six-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare Royal Descent hasn’t won a race since her 2013 Australian Oaks success but had a super competitive campaign earlier in the year running third in both the Doncaster Mile behind her stablemate Kermadec and behind Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) last start during The Championships.
At $8.50 in the Warwick Stakes odds is then Gai Waterhouse’s French import Pornichet, the five-year-old Vespone stallion having won the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane last start back in early May.
See below for the full Warwick Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – who are offering a Bonus Bet for 2nd or 3rd on the feature in Sydney.