First Seal gearing up for spring carnival

SYDNEY Aug 14 2016

John Thompson will take a step-by-step approach with Group One winner First Seal who is ready for a barrier trial ahead of her spring campaign as a five-year-old.

The trainer said First Seal would run in a barrier trial at Randwick on Friday ahead of her first-up run in the $400,000 Group Two Golden Pendant at Rosehill on September 24.

"At this stage we're starting off in the mares' races," Thompson said.

"We're coming into the spring so there's plenty of options there depending on what she's doing at the time."

First Seal won the Group One Flight Stakes in October 2014, one of five times she beat Winx home in their three-year-old season.

Since the Flight Stakes, she has not won again at the top level but has been runner-up in four Group One races.

The 2015 spring ended without First Seal getting to the races because of a hoof injury.

The mare returned to win the Group Two Millie Fox Stakes in the autumn and was second in the Group One Canterbury Stakes, but her campaign ended after her 12th in the Doncaster Mile won by Winx.

Another of the stable's leading spring carnival hopes, Zanbagh, was scratched from a trial on the heavy Kensington track at Randwick on Tuesday morning.

"We just didn't want to go on the wet track but we're a long way out from her first run so we've got plenty of time," Thompson said.

Zanbagh is also set to trial this week.

Thompson said Zanbagh would also run against her own sex in the lead-up to the Group One Myer Classic at Flemington on Derby Day.

Sir John Hawkwood, a horse who came to Thompson's stable after David Vandyke relocated to Queensland, is another set for a hit-out this week.

Sir John Hawkwood's first up-run is likely to be in the Group Three Kingston Town Stakes at Rosehill on September 10 as he heads towards the Group One Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick on October 1.

Matt Coughlan - AAP

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