Undefeated Western Australian sprinter Barakey is ready to tackle a top class field in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Barakey is having his first start since taking his unbeaten run to eleven in the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot, Perth on November 24 last year.
“He defeated some handy Group 1 horses, so I thought it would be worthwhile bringing him across,” trained Jim Taylor said.
“Also it’s going to be a great race as we’re going to be up against the likes of Ortensia and Woorim.”
Barakey took on some handy sprinters at his first attempt at Group 1 level in the Winterbottom Stakes and has drawn reasonably well at eight in a field of fourteen which includes multiple Group 1 winner Ortensia and last year’s winner Woorim.
The five year old is coming up against Spirit Of Boom again after the Tony Gollan trained stallion finished third to Barakey at Ascot in the summer.
Spirit Of Boom hasn’t raced since the Winterbottom but did show his class in the Spring with three placings at Group 2 and 3 level.
Another top performance by Barakey will extend his stay in Melbourne with Taylor keen to run in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.
Perth jockey Jason Brown will again be on Barakey after partnering the five year old to all eleven wins in the west.
Woorim has drawn off the track at barrier thirteen but will go back anyway and try to repeat last year’s sensational last to first victory giving Queensland trainer Robert Heathcote his first Group 1 win.
International Group 1 winner Ortensia has drawn gate four and is resuming after a successful campaign in England last year.
After struggling early during the English summer, Ortensia found form with wins in the Group 2 £100,000 Gordon’s King George Stakes (5 furlongs) at Goodwood on August 3 and the Group 1 £250,000 The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (5 furlongs) at York on August 24.
But after being well beaten at her next start, trainer Paul Messara called an end to her European campaign and brought the mare home to prepare for the Autumn.