Trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai has again nursed First Among Equals back from injury and if history is any guide, the talented gelding can return to his best in the Cumberland Handicap (1,400m). The seven-year-old suffered an injury to his near-fore suspensory ligament in September 2005 but after two excellent performances he was able to return to his best at his third run back. The same injury occurred a year ago but the signs have been positive that the Tale Of The Cat gelding can yet again reward his patient connections, significantly at his third run back from being on the sidelines. He resumed on November 3 and indicated he was coming to hand well when staying on strongly behind Slow Waltz before rising in class last start and working home well in the final stages to be beaten just over three lengths by Sunny Power. The two runs are sure to have First Among Equals at his peak and with a return to Class Two he looks a terrific chance to score at a value price. The main stumbling block for First Among Equals will be the promising Express Win on the evidence to two excellent local performances. The Catbird gelding showed terrific promise as a juvenile in Australia when winning three races and he returned the following season to place at Group Three level in the Up And Coming Stakes at Randwick. He made his Hong Kong debut at Happy Valley on October 28 and caught the eye when flashing home to finish third to Fifty Fifty in track record time after being checked out of the barriers and settling back in the field. The four-year-old reared at the start at his next outing but recovered to park in midfield and battled on well to finish third to Slow Waltz. From gate two, Terry Wong Chi-wai should give Express Win every chance in the run and more than likely look the winner early in the straight. Tchaikovsky has returned this season a rejuvenated horse and the front-running gelding is sure to give his rivals plenty to catch. The six-year-old opened the season with a surprise win at 41-1 odds after bouncing straight to the lead from the outside alley under Brett Prebble and he lost no marks last start when gunned down close to home by Slow Waltz. Prebble again looks like dictating the speed in the lead and the David Hall-trained gelding will give a good sight, although the big weight of 129 pounds has to be of some concern. The other main contender is Regency Dragon on the back of a last-start victory in the same grade. The David Ferraris-trained five-year-old didn't appear to have too many excuses when resuming from a spell behind Slow Waltz but he showed the benefit of that outing when scoring last start after enjoying the run of the race. He should press forward from a tricky gate to camp on the speed and he's not going to find this assignment a great deal tougher.