Trainer Jim Taylor is ready to take on the best sprinters in the eastern states with his unbeaten stable star Barakey after taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot last Saturday.
Barakey took his winning sequence to eleven from eleven after stepping up to Group 1 for the first time to deliver a power packed performance to score by half a length from the fast finishing Power Princess and the Queensland trained Spirit Of Boom.
Winning rider Jason Brown had Barakey on the move early from the outside barrier and sat outside the leader, Travinator, and after challenging for the lead on the home turn was left a sitting shot for the run on horses.
While Barakey showed his tough sprinting qualities to hold out the challengers, local rival Travinator compounded in the straight to finish last in the nine horse field.
“It was a big effort to win as all the other feature races were won by horses who had cover and those that didn’t knocked up,” Taylor said.
“No horses did it harder on the day than Travinator, who knocked up, and Barakey.”
Taylor will now turn his attention to Melbourne in the Autumn but a clash with super mare Black Caviar at weight for age is off the radar, while Barakey could take on former West Australian trained Hay List in the Autumn.
Taylor was the original trainer of Hay List before the giant sprinter was transferred to John McNair at Gosford and went on to win at Group 1 level including this year’s Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
“If he raced Hay List at Ascot on a firm track, he would beat him as Hay List has trouble with his feet,” Taylor said.
“On the softer tracks in the east, they would be very comparable.”
A clash with Black Caviar looks highly unlikely as the champion mare will be restricted to weight for races if she races in the Autumn and Taylor wouldn’t take her on under those conditions.
“We wouldn’t take her on at weight-for-age,” Taylor said.
“We wouldn’t be silly enough. If she wants to take us on in a handicap, that would be fine as we would have 10 kilos less than her.”
Taylor has suggested that the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23 and the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9 are likely targets for the five year old.
“We won’t go silly next year with him,” Taylor said.
“In the autumn we’ll go over the Melbourne and in races like the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket we should get in somewhere near the minimum, so he’ll be a good chance.”
“He’s a five-year-old and had a couple of leg issues, so we don’t want to over-race him.”