The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Perth horseman Simon Miller plans to head east next year with his Winterbottom Stakes fourth placegetter First Among Equals to target Adelaide’s The Goodwood 2017.
The Ascot-based trainer brought over Whispering Brook this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival where her best result was a third to Global Glamour in Caulfield’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Next time he plans to travel with much heavier arsenal including his Exceed And Excel gelding First Among Equals.
“I could have up to about six horses that I would be keen to bring across,” Miller told Racing Victoria this week.
“I’ve been wanting to do it for a while and I finally think I’ve got the right team of horses to not just bring across but to also keep the stable ticking over in Perth.
“Owners are always keen to test their horses in the east if they have one good enough and I think there are a few here that could be competitive.
“I’d be looking to come across and base the team at Caulfield and then travel from there.”
A winner of 10 of his 23 career starts all in W.A. to date, five-year-old First Among Equal’s latest victory was in a Listed sprint at Belmont back in mid-August.
The sprinter lined-up as an $18 chance in betting in last weekend’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and was far from disgraced finishing only a length off the Gary Moore-trained winner Takedown.
Takedown is now set to head overseas for a Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) bid at Sha Tin in December.
Miller meanwhile has First Among Equals gearing up for a trip across the country next year where he is eyeing a Morphettville run on May 20 in the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m).
The galloper will race next-up at home in Saturday week’s $250,000 Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) on December 10 and then head out to the paddock.
“Melbourne might just come around too soon for him,” Miller said.
“I’m mindful that the horses who would be competing in Melbourne in the autumn are already resting and we are still racing, so it would probably be a race against time.
“Adelaide for something like the Goodwood and then maybe on to Brisbane [for the Winter Carnival] is more realistic.”
In Brisbane First Among Equals could target Queensland’s richest race – the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10.
The 2017 Stradbroke Handicap could also see Perth’s Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice line-up with the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) confirming a bid to see the horse travel to the Sunshine State for the feature.
“[The horse’s part-owner] Bill [Andrews] is away on holiday in the bush and not in mobile phone range. But we will make it a priority to contact him after the Kingston Town Classic about getting Scales of Justice here,” BRC racing manager Bart Sinclair told The West Australian.
“The Stradbroke has always been a race for horses who can run a strong 1600 metres and Scales of Justice fills that need.”
Scales Of Justice first chases the Railway Stakes – Kingston Town Classic double last achieved by Sniper’s Bullet (2009) in the year’s final Group 1 race at Ascot this weekend.
The 2017 Kingston Town Classic attracted a 16-starter field that includes three Chris Waller-trained runners led by last year’s Railway Stakes winner Good Project who ran second in the mile feature this summer.
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