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It’s been almost 18 months since First Seal gave Winx a three-length beating in the Flight Stakes.

Since then Winx has risen to the top of Australian racing with her wins in the Epsom Handicap and the Cox Plate.

First Seal missed the spring after she was found to have a rare hoof condition which required surgery.

The mare has fully recovered, proving her fitness in two recent barrier trials with trainer John Thompson eager to get her back to the races.

Thompson took her to Randwick on Saturday for a race day work-out, a couple of hours before Winx began her latest campaign with a classy victory on the Group Two Apollo Stakes.

First Seal will take on Winx’s Chris Waller-trained stablemate Catkins in Saturday’s Group Two Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.

“She is very well and everything has gone right with her preparation,” Thompson said.

“I’m looking forward to getting her back to the races.”

Catkins and First Seal were among nine nominations taken on Monday for the Millie Fox with the Waller-trained Amicus the only other horse rated above 100.

Waller said Amicus was more likely to be saved for another week leaving Catkins to defend the race the trainer is trying to win for the fifth consecutive year.

Catkins’ now-retired stablemate Red Tracer made the Millie Fox her own three times from 2012 to 2014.

Raced by the Ingham family, Catkins also had a race day gallop at Randwick, heading off stablemate Press Statement in the work-out.

First Seal’s galloping companion was dual Group One placegetter Honesta who will resume on Saturday week in the Surround Stakes.

Honesta ran second to Speak Fondly in the Flight Stakes in which Saturday’s Light Fingers winner Perignon was third and later in the spring was second to Jameka in the VRC Oaks.

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