First Seal has maintained clear favouritism in 2015 Warwick Stakes betting markets this week despite being confirmed alongside a particularly talented field, and trainer John Thompson is confident the mare is ready to justify the trend with a successful racing return on Saturday.
First Seal first stamped herself as a runner to follow through the 2014 Spring Carnival, in which she won both the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) before placing a close second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Having returned this time for a close second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m), the Fastnet Rock mare returned to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) before placing second in both the Group 1 Coomore Classic (1500m) and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
First Seal has reportedly taken huge benefit from her time away from racing and Thompson told The Daily Telegraph she has certainly not lost the ability to post fast sectionals in transit.
“She hasn’t lost any of that speed and is still running those mid-21s for her last 400m in trackwork,” Thompson said.
“She’s drawn perfectly and even though it’s not her target, it’s fair to say most horses in this race are being prepared for something later down the track.”
Thompson confirmed the mare will remain in Sydney through the Spring Carnival should the tracks at Randwick and Rosehill remain unhampered by rain; underlining the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 3rd as her major target.
“We’ll run Saturday then into the Chelmsford Stakes a fortnight later and then the George Main Stakes and the Epsom Handicap,” Thompson said.
“But if it rains up here, we’ll go for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Melbourne after this weekend following by the Toorak Handicap and the Myer Classic.
“If she won the Epsom it’d be hard to say no to a Cox Plate but the Myer is a nice option for her.”
Tommy Berry has been confirmed to take the ride on First Seal in the 2015 Warwick Stakes, and will leave from the ideal barrier 6 with a race-low 56.5kgs.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Warwick Stakes odds, for which First Seal can be taken at a quote of $2.90 for success.