Prominent Perth trainer Jim Taylor says that Western Australian hero Barakey is ready to defend his title in the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Barakey joined the Group 1 winning ranks scoring at the top level at his first attempt in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes and Taylor has him primed to withstand the attack from the Eastern state sprinters which includes dual Group 1 winner Buffering.
“I don’t mind meeting him on our own dung hill but I probably wouldn’t want to meet him over there,” Taylor told the West Australian.
“In Perth he’ll get a race.”
Barakey created a huge following last year in the West when he rose through the ranks undefeated from ten starts before beating Power Princess in the Winterbottom Stakes.
Taylor then went to Melbourne to test the speedy Barakey against the best sprinters in the land but the gelding pulled up lame after finishing eleventh to Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in the Autumn.
After a long spell Taylor produced Barakay first up to win Group 3 $125,000 Sea Corp Starlight Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on October 26, beating Power Princess by a neck.
“He raced a bit keen and if it had have been 1000 or 1100 he probably wins by four or five lengths,” Taylor said.
“I’m pretty happy with where he’s at.”
The final field for the weight for age Winterbottom Stakes will see Barakey take on twelve opponents which include last year’s placings of Power Princess and the Tony Gollan trained Spirit Of Boom as well as the Peter Moody trained Moment Of Change and Buffering.
Buffering looks the one to beat after finally breaking through for a Group 1 win in the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and then followed that up with a win in the Group 1 $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9 with Moment Of Change finishing in third spot.
Spirit Of Boom, yet to win at Group 1 level after eleven attempts, is racing in top form with three placings and a win at Group 2 level at four runs during the Spring.
The Sequalo stallion was rewarded for his consistency two starts back with a win in the Group 2 $220,000 Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint (1100m) at Caulfield on October 19 and followed that up with a second down the Flemington straight to Fontelina in the Group 2 $300,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) on November 2.