Trainer Neville Parker is not underestimating First Among Equals in tomorrow’s $100,000 Birthday Stakes (1200m).
The eight-year-old is a $20 chance to score an upset victory in the Listed sprint, his first run under the guidance of Parker.
Parker says he finds it difficult to discount First Among Equals’ record in big races, a multiple Listed winner in Perth and Melbourne.
In a stint for Darren Weir last year, First Among Equals won the Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington, and placed twice in Group races.
First Among Equals races first-up since May’s Northam Stakes (1100m) and despite being at double figures with Tabtouch, Parker believes he is a top winning hope.
“Last year he was in the Bobby Lewis (Flemington) and only got beat point two of a length in a Group 2 race behind Dothraki,” Parker told Tabradio.
“He was only a length and a half behind Ball Of Muscle in The Heath (Caulfield) and has performed to this level for most of his career.
“I think you would be silly to say that he is out of this (Birthday Stakes).
“He has only got more confident and bullish each day.
“We’ve put a lot of time into him and he thinks he is King Kong at the moment.
“Hopefully tomorrow it all goes to plan.”
The son of Exceed and Excel has drawn barrier eight and will be ridden by Lucy Warwick.
A winner of 12 races from 44 races, First Among Equals is out to become the first eight-year-old to win the Birthday Stakes since Fair Alert (2004).
Lady Cosmology ($3.80) holds Birthday Stakes favouritism.