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Warwick Stakes Confirmed For First Seal
Trainer John Thompson has confirmed that top-class mare First Seal (Fastnet Rock-Episode, by Scenic) will resume in the Gr2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday. Thompson had contemplated running the 4YO first-up in the Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday week but said his preference is to campaign her in Sydney as long as the rain stays away. "She'll run in the Warwick Stakes as long as the track is dry. If not she will probably head off to Melbourne," Thompson told RSN radio yesterday. "She's had two trials which have brought her on nicely. She'll improve off the run but she's in good shape, she looks fantastic and is ready to go." Thompson said First Seal had developed into a lovely mare and that he is hoping this preparation will be her best yet. "She's just that little bit more mature. She's had two racing preps now so she's more seasoned," he said. "She's just a quality horse and that takes you a long way." First Seal's liking for firm ground means that the weather will largely dictate where she does most of her racing in the spring. "It depends," Thompson said. "If she stays in Sydney she will head to the Epsom, probably through the traditional weight-for-age path." He added: "But if it turns out to be wet in Sydney we'll go to Melbourne and aim at races such as the Sir Rupert Clarke [Gr1], but at the moment she will stay in Sydney and head to the Epsom." The $1 million Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday 3 October.