First Seal has been given the all-clear to run in the Queen of the Turf Stakes as she attempts turn her Group One luck around.
The Flight Stakes winner in the spring, First Seal has finished second in both the Coolmore Classic and Vinery Stud Stakes this autumn.
She came back from the Vinery with blood in one nostril, prompting stewards to order a searching gallop on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s $1 million race.
Her trainer John Thompson believed she had hit her head in the barriers although that was not evident on the footage of the start.
However, Racing NSW chief veterinarian Craig Suann examined her and agreed she showed no signs of a bleed from the lungs.
“She worked over 1200 metres with a mate this morning,” Thompson said.
“I think once they saw the cuts on her head it was obvious something had happened.
“But the stewards are just doing their due diligence and all is good.”
First Seal started favourite in both the Coolmore (1500m) and Vinery (2000m), being narrowly beaten by Plucky Belle and Fenway respectively.
She is the TAB’s $3.40 equal favourite with Melbourne mare Noble Protector in the Queen Of The Turf (1600m).
“I’m not a big fan of bringing horses back in distance,” Thompson said.
“But there are advantages.
“Coming back to Randwick is a big plus. Eight is a good barrier for her so I am confident she will go well.”
Catkins ($5) is the only other one of the 15 runners under double figures as she strives to win her first Group One race.
The popular grey mare has won three Group Two races this campaign and finished second to Cosmic Endeavour in the Group One Canterbury Stakes.
Diamond Drille, the winner of the 2014 Queen Of The Turf, is at $15 to back up from an unplaced run in Monday’s Doncaster Mile.
Noble Protector is undefeated in two Melbourne starts since she returned to racing after a spring campaign that included a second to Queen Elizabeth Stakes favourite Contributer.
First Seal and Amicus will be the only fillies in the Queen of the Turf.
Article from justhorseracing.com.au