‘Freakish’ First Seal in league of her own, says James McDonald   Leave a comment

‘Freakish’ First Seal in league of her own, says James McDonald

First Seal will step up to 2000m in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. Pictu

First Seal will step up to 2000m in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. Picture: Simon Bullard. Source: News Corp Australia

JAMES McDonald has labelled First Seal “the best filly I’ve sat on” after test driving the three-year-old in trackwork on Tuesday.

It’s a bold statement from McDonald, who knows a thing or two about top-notch fillies. His first Group 1 winner in Australia was on Scarlett Lady, in the 2011 Queensland Oaks.

The jockey also rode Mossfun to win last year’s Golden Slipper and Rising Romance to win the ATC Oaks.

“Just off the feel she’s given me in the two gallops so far, I’m already thinking she’s the best I’ve sat on in the filly division,” McDonald said. “It’s freakish what she can do on that track.”

After working the daughter of Fastnet Rock, McDonald simply shook his head after being told she ran her last 400m in 21.2 seconds.

“She’s done that largely on the bit. How fast can this thing go?” he said.

James McDonald is excited about riding First Seal on Saturday. Picture: Mark Evans

James McDonald is excited about riding First Seal on Saturday. Picture: Mark Evans Source: News Corp Australia

Adding further merit to First Seal’s work was the fact it was at the end of a 1600m gallop.

“If she runs that sort of finish at the end of 2000m (Vinery Stud Stakes) this weekend, it’s going to be a painful experience for her rivals,” McDonald said.

“Horses don’t go like that, let alone three-year-old fillies.”

There is a query in some circles that First Seal isn’t a genuine 2000m horse after tasting defeat in the Spring Champion Stakes last year.

“It won’t be an issue. Especially against her own age and sex,” McDonald said. “When you ride her, she relaxes beautifully and just drops her head. She moves in an economical fashion and then it’s like playing a computer game when you want her to go — push button.

“She’ll go from being totally relaxed and in the most comfortable zone … she could be airborne within a split second.

John Thompson says First Seal has improved “nicely” since the Coolmore Classic.

John Thompson says First Seal has improved “nicely” since the Coolmore Classic. Source: News Corp Australia

“I’ve ridden some very good fillies before but this feels like she’ll be better than all of them.

“I guess I’ll know for sure after Saturday.”

First Seal’s trainer John Thompson says he’s confident his charge can bounce back from her shock defeat last start.

“Not a lot went right for her in the Coolmore. She went forward but then got snagged back slightly before racing wide throughout,” Thompson said.

“She got pushed even wider on the corner and still loomed up like she was going to win with ease. I think she’s improved nicely into this.”

Originally published as ‘Freakish’ First Seal in league of her own: McDonald

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Posted March 25, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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