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First Seal Named NSW Horse of the Year
Last season's high class 3YO filly First Seal (Fastnet Rock-Episode, by Scenic) was named NSW Horse of the Year last night at a gala function. The John Thomson-trained 4YO mare, who is currently $2.90 favourite for tomorrow's classy renewal of the Gr2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, had a stellar run of 9 consecutive first two placings last season which included victories in the Gr1 Flight Stakes, Gr2 Tea Rose Stakes & Gr2 Surround Stakes. She finished sixth in her season finale of the Gr1 Queen of the Turf Stakes when a $3.50 chance. First Seal was also crowned Champion NSW 3YO and Queen of the Autumn. Purchased for NZ$700,000 by legendary trainer Bart Cummings at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Curraghmore Stud, First Seal races for a syndicate that includes the China Horse Club, Raffles Thoroughbred Racing and Think Big Stud. From dual Oaks winner Episode, First Seal is a three-quarter sister to Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes winner Book Of Kells (Rock Of Gibraltar) and a half-sister to the stakes-placed Best Command (Court Command).