Perth trainer Jim Taylor will take his unbeaten star Barakey to Flemington next week for a final Newmarket Handicap hitout after passing a barrier test at Caulfield this morning.
Barakey was ordered to pass a barrier test for Victorian stewards after the five year was withdrawn before the start of the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday after trying to burrow under the front of the starting stalls.
Taylor was adamant that Barakey would have led and been hard to run down after the Gerald Ryan trained Mrs Onassis sat outside the leader before holding off the fast finishing Facile Tigre and Spirit Of Boom.
“He would have led that field on its ear and, from there, he would have been hard to beat,” Taylor said.
His scratching from the Oakleigh Plate has forced Taylor to send the Western Australian sprinting sensation into the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9 first-up.
Taylor, who rode Barakay in this morning’s jumpout, was more than impressed with his barrier manners and will now go to Flemington next Tuesday to get some valuable experience down the straight course.
“He went in and stood up perfectly before jumping well and he had a good hit out over about 700 metres, beating the rest of them easily.” Taylor said.
”He was nice and settled. The only two times he has been a problem in the gates has been when another horse has gone off so I didn’t think there would be any problem here this morning.”
”I think the rest of them might have been unraced but Barakey was carrying me and I weigh in at 68 kilograms.”
“I’ll take him over to Flemington next week to have a look at the track. He hasn’t seen the straight before and when you’re are racing at that level any small advantage helps.”
Barakey, who has been allocated 56kg for the Newmarket, is the winner of eleven races and kept his unbeaten record intact when taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 24.
Fellow Western Australian galloper Luckygray who is also going into the Newmarket first up, has been allocated topweight in the Newmarket with 58kg while the Peter Moody trained Moment Of Change will have to carry 56.5kg.
Even though Luckygray is a last start winner over 1800m in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch.Mobi – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 8, the five year old grey is unbeaten at 1200m and is a first up winner three times from as many attempts.
Moment Of Change heads the Newmarket betting at $2.80 with Barakey the second pick at $4.50 in front of Luckygray at $6.50.
Queensland’s rising sprinting star Better Than Ready is next in the market at $9 then we go out to Ortensia and Shamexpress at $21.