Young trainer Neville Parker is daring to dream his new acquisition First Among Equals can lead him down the path to big time Ascot carnival races later this year.
Parker says he’s excited to have a horse of First Among Equals profile join his stable and is determined to grasp what he hopes will be a lucrative opportunity.
First Among Equals comes to Parker after stints with training maestros Simon Miller and Lindsey Smith in Perth and Darren Weir in Melbourne.
A five-time stakes winner, the Exceed And Excel eight-year-old has amassed close to $1 million in stake earnings from his 43 career starts.
From 2016 to 2018, he won the Pinjarra Classic (1300m), the Bolton Sprint (1200m), the Belmont Newmarket (1200), the Northam Stakes (1100m) and the Straight Six (1200m)at Flemington, his previous victory 19-months ago.
Parker is confident the eight-year-old can still show he has a zest and appetite for racing.
“It’s a massive opportunity and I am pinching myself a bit,” Parker told The Races WA.
“It’s a bit of an eye-opener because I’m not used to having that class of horse.
“I’m not usually exposed to such a professional horse and it’s exciting to have him here.
“He is pretty well schooled and I think he can teach me more than I can teach him.
“I don’t think I can improve him and will concentrate on the one percenters and keeping him happy.
“My focus will be on his recovery and ensuring he gets plenty of beach work.”
First Among Equals stepped out for his first official outing under Parker’s direction in a 950m Lark Hill trial on Monday and impressed.
In a star heat four line-up, First Among Equals settled back before sprinting home to finish a close third to Arcadia Prince and Samizdat.
“He is not generally an overly good trialler, but he found the line,” Parker said.
“Importantly he has pulled up freely and it was a good gauge.”
First Among Equals has not raced since the Northam Stakes (1100m) in May when he ran 8th to Rock Magic.
Parker says the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m) at Belmont on September 28 marks the return of his new charge.
“It looks like being a hot race,” Parker said.
“I think at his best he is up to them.
“He is happy and wants to compete.
“After the Birthday Stakes there is ideally the Asian Beau Stakes.
“I will let him direct what direction we take.”