First Among Equals (pic. Western Racepix)
A trip across the Nullarbor now appears to be on the agenda for speedy Perth galloper, First Among Equals, who overcame a wide barrier to capture the $100,000 HG Bolton Stakes (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday.
It was a second stakes win and eighth victory overall for the now 5YO who is only lightly raced and was stepping out for just the 18th time in the Bolton.
Having to overcome the widest barrier, First Among Equals settled midfield before storming home in a thriller.
“He (First Among Equals) will run in the Belmont Newmarket in a fortnight and a decision on sending him east will be made then,” trainer Simon Miller reports.
“If he doesn’t head across for the spring, we’ll freshen him up for a race like the Winterbottom.”
First Among Equal’s owner, Cape Falls Thoroughbreds, is obviously keen for its star performer to show his mettle against Australia’s elite.
“We were all very happy with the win and he’s clearly a top class sprinter,” Cape Falls Thoroughbreds manager, David Marshall enthused.
“It will be up to Simon as to whether the horse makes the trip but he’s a very nice type.
“He was purchased by Cape Falls at the 2012 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale and has since won over $400,000.
“First Among Equals was broken in on the farm and comes back here when he’s spelling. We do a bit of prep work with him before he heads back to Simon. The horse is a beautiful ride.”
Spread over 500 acres near Western Australia’s famous, Margaret River, Cape Falls Thoroughbreds could well become the first among equals if their horse makes the grade in Melbourne.
Out of the Group winning mare, Pride of the Class – a half sister to Queensland Group Two winner, Fulmonti – First Among Equals is one of 115 stakes winners by the brilliant Darley stallion, Exceed And Excel.
“He (Exceed And Excel) has been a phenomenal sire,” Darley Australia’s Head of Sales, Alastair Pulford, points out. “He has again produced over 100 individual winners in the Australian season just past, 11 of those stakes winners, including Group One winner, Flamberge, and over $6.6 million in progeny earnings.
“Importantly, it looks as if his presence is going to be felt for quite some time with his sire sons, Helmet, going so well with his first crop in Europe, and Reward For Effort really starting to make his mark as well.”