Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A second shot at the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth this summer is on the cards for the Simon Miller-trained sprint star First Among Equals who races this weekend at Belmont Park.
The rising six-year-old was last seen running a worse than mid-field 12th behind Vega Magic at Morphettville on May 20 in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m).
That elite level run in Adelaide was better than it reads on paper, the son of Exceed And Excel beating only four lengths after a tough run from barrier 15 during which he was galloped on.
Fourth in $1 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at home at Ascot Racecourse last Perth Summer Racing Carnival behind Takedown, plans are to again target the feature summer sprint with First Among Equals on November 25 this year.
“His Winterbottom run last year was unbelievable,” Miller told Racenet this week.
“He’s up to that class no doubt so he’ll have two runs this time in and we’ll do the same as last year and hit the Winterbottom third-up.”
The smart short-distance performer runs in black-type class on Saturday in W.A. lining up with the hefty 61kg top weight in the $100,000 Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m).
Despite giving the kilos away to his rivals, the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are firmly in favour of First Among Equals who is at $2.60 and firming to win as the class horse in the race.
He boasts four wins from seven starts over the metres and is a seven-time winner from 10 Belmont runs, a big advantage according to Miller who is pleased with how quickly the horse recovered from The Goodwood incident.
“It’s an advantage no doubt,” he said.
“I know he’s got 61kg but the others are actually worse off at the weights anyway. He’s got a good record and deserves it.
“He’s ready, his work has been right up to the mark so I’m happy to send him around. He was doing so well burning around the paddock, we had to bring him back into work.”
Futures Winterbottom Stakes betting has First Among Equals around a $26 outsider with all-in markets led by Grant & Alana Williams’ ultra-consistent Nicconi gelding State Solicitor and The Goodwood winner Vega Magic.
Miller chases his first Winterbottom Stakes success since saddling-up his mare Petite Amour for a win in the summer classic back in 1994.
To back First Among Equals in the Perth racing odds this weekend head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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