Trainer John Thompson is thrilled with the condition of First Seal ahead of her competitive return in Saturday’s 2016 Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
First Seal has been a strong and consistent performer for Thompson throughout her entire racing career so far, but has also been plagued by injury since her competitive debut and has not been seen since fracturing her splint bone during the Autumn Carnival this year.
Thompson told AAP that the mare, who dominated Winx during their three-year-old spring campaigns in 2014, is in great condition ahead of her return on Saturday and he is confident that the 2016 Golden Pendant is an ideal first point of call this time.
“Winx has improved out of sight,” Thompson said.
“But First Seal is a special horse.
“It breaks my heart what she has had to go through with a hoof problem and then the fracture. It seems to always happen to the good ones.
“But she’s sound now and is a happy horse.
“I just want to get First Seal back winning again and the Golden Pendant is an easy option at the weights and with good prize money.”
Undoubtedly finding career-best form to date as a three-year-old, First Seal ran second to Sweynesse in a minor over 1400m before beating Winx in each of the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) in spring; returning to the paddock after finishing second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Resuming in the 2015 autumn for second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m), the Fastnet Rock mare won the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) before finishing second in each of the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
Returning to racing this year for a classy win in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m), First Seal progressed to second in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and fourth in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before her twelfth in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) most recently on April 2nd.
The 2016 Golden Pendant field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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