West Australian trainer Jim Taylor is hoping his decision to wait twelve months before throwing his smart sprinter Barakey into the deep end pays dividends when the five year old takes on the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot tomorrow.
Taylor resisted the temptation of testing the unbeaten Barakey at the top level this time last year when the then four year old was unbeaten from six starts and has brought his unbeaten record to ten including a last start win at Group 3 level in the Group 3 $125,000 Yellowglen-Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at Ascot on Melbourne Cup day.
“In my opinion it’s all about maximising the return and you don’t jump in the deep end too early,” Taylor said.
“Horses get a great confidence from winning so if you can continue winning it does them the world of good.”
“I gave him a bit of time early on, he went shin sore once or twice so we didn’t push him.”
“You get a lot of promising horses but you never think you’ll do this so it’s a good effort by the horse.”
Taylor was the original trainer of sprinting sensation Hay List and prepared the gelding for his nine starts in the West which saw the giant sprinter win his first eight outings before being transferred to John McNair at Gosford in March 2010.
“I thought when I lost him that was my chance, the best horse I’ve had gone,” Taylor said.
“To get a horse close to him so soon after him I’ve been lucky.”
Even though Hay List had the misfortune of bumping into undefeated champion mare Black Caviar on several occasions over the past two years, the top sprinter still managed to win at Group 1 level including the 2012 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10.
And Taylor realises that if Barakey is lucky enough to win the Winterbottom, he will be forced to chase the major sprinting races in the east and hopefully duplicate Hay List’s win down the famous Flemington straight.
“We know if he comes out and beats them we can’t stay in Perth any longer – he’s going to have to go to Melbourne and take on the best horses in the best sprint races,” Taylor said.
But Taylor knows that Barakey has to come through his Group 1 debut with flying colours to contemplate a trip to the east and hasn’t been set an easy task coming up with the outside barrier of the ten horse field.
And Taylor says that Barakey doesn’t have to lead as he usually does in his races and is happy to take a sit behind the pace which is likely to be local rival Travinator who will jump from gate one and who will no doubt show his customary speed that has seen him win seven of his nine starts, his latest by almost seven lengths in restricted class over 1000m at Ascot.
“When you get in better company you are better off being able to take a sit so that wouldn’t be a worry.”
Bookmakers have installed Barakey, who is to be ridden by regular jockey Jason Brown, the $2.40 favourite up against some seasoned sprinters including last start Group 1 placegetter Hallowell Belle and consistent Group performer Pinwheel.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Hallowell Belle is on the third line of betting at $5 behind Travinator ($4.80) after running home strongly for third behind Mental in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 10.
While Pinwheel ($9) has been freshened up after finishing seventh to Moment Of Change in the Group 1 $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 30 after winning at Group 2 and 3 level at Warwick Farm early in the Spring.