Perth trainer Simon Miller is giving his sprinter First Among Equals a strong each way chance at good odds in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Miller obviously rates the Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart, the $3.50 favourite, as the hardest to beat under the set weights plus penalties conditions but rates First Among Equals on par with former West Australian trained sprinter Vega Magic who is the second pick in the betting at $7 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
First Among Equals is listed at $19 for The Goodwood on Thursday morning.
“Black Heart Bart is definitely the one to beat under the set weights and penalties but my boy’s worthy of an each-way ticket for sure,” Miller told The Advertiser.
“He’ll be strong late and savage the line.”
“I think we’ve had the wood on him (Vega Magic) a couple of times, so it’s pretty positive from his point of view.”
Vega Magic will be having his first start for the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig after winning nine races from fourteen starts for Perth trainer Sean Casey.
First Among Equals is the winner of eleven races in the West and is coming off a first up win in the Listed $125,000 Northam Stakes (1100m) at Northam on May 7.
“It was a pretty good race, the Northam Sprint. I know he only won by a nose but we rode him close to the pace that day because we were worried about the tempo,” Miller said.
“And when you ride him close, he’s not as effective finishing off, albeit he still finished off in 33 (seconds).
“You’d say the tempo will be a lot more genuine on Saturday so hopefully we can park him midfield and put him to sleep early.”
First Among Equals has been tested at Group 1 level once back on his home track at Ascot and performed well to finish fourth, one length behind the winner Takedown, in the $1m Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) during the 2016 Perth Summer Carnival.
“His run in the Winterbottom last year was outstanding, albeit luckless, and the form out of that race has been enormous,” Miller said.
“I think the Morphettville track will suit him as well. He can sweep into it and sustain a long run.”
First Among Equals will move into barrier fifteen with the early scratching of the Lloyd Kennewell trained Viddora with Luke Nolen having his first ride on the five year old in The Goodwood.
Nolen will be searching for his second win in The Goodwood after steering the great mare Black Caviar to an historic win in 2012.