Positive Signs For First Among Equals

In-form trainer Simon Miller says the signs are positive for First Among Equals to launch a successful comeback to racing in the Listed Bolton Sprint (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday.

The four-year-old resumes off the back of a successful summer and autumn campaign that netted the gelding his first major win in the Listed Pinjarra Classic (1300m) in February.

The son of Exceed And Excel, who has two wins from four first-up attempts and five wins from seven starts at Belmont, ran second to Lenience in a Belmont trial last week.

“The thing with him is post trial and how he has come through it,” Miller said on TABradio.

“Generally you know a couple of days after and he has done extremely well.

“His gallop on Tuesday was of a very high standard so I’m really looking forward to the run.”

Miller says First Among Equals can overcome a wide draw. The gelding, to be ridden by Paul Harvey, will start from the extreme outside gate in barrier 12.

“I agree the draw is a bit sticky, but good horses and good jockeys can make their own luck and I’m hoping that’s the case tomorrow (Saturday),” Miller said.

“From the gate we will either be in the three wide train or have to go right back to last and where we are will be decided by the tempo.

“We just need a bit of luck, but I think he will be right there and be hard to beat.”

First Among Equals, the TAB’s $3.60 second favourite, can give Miller and Harvey their second success in the Bolton Sprint.

Miller prepared glamour mare, Power Princess in 2011 and Harvey rode Papillion for trainer, Greg Harper, in 1999.

Miller says First Among Equals’ performance in the Bolton Sprint will go a long way to determining plans for his future campaign.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow because if I can get his campaign off to a flyer he will roll on to the next race and we then make a decision where to head from there,” Miller said.

“We could go over east or freshen him up and aim up at our carnival.

“He is going really good so I need to know where he wants to head, but it’s nice to have the options.”

Julio Santarelli