Perth speedster Barakey was strong in a work-out down the Flemington straight this morning but remains slightly underdone for his tough first-up test in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.
Everything was going to plan for the unbeaten sprinter before he was a late scratching at the barriers in the Oakleigh Plate last Saturday week.
The missed hit-out has left trainer Jim Taylor playing catch up with the five-year-old who he admits could have used the lead-up run.
“Barakey’s a little behind in his work after missing the run in the Oakleigh Plate,” Taylor told Radio Sports National.
The five-year-old galloped with Woorim over 800m this morning where he held a slender margin over the Queenslander at the line.
“He went well down the straight. [But] we would have liked to have gone into the Newmarket second-up,” Taylor said.
The Oakleigh Plate was a key missed cog in the Newmarket wheel for Barakey who now will have to break a telling piece of history to take his unbeaten streak to 12 this weekend.
No horse has won the Newmarket first-up since Polycrates in 1917.
Despite the 96-year drought of first-up winners, the son of Key Business is still considered one of the top betting chances in the prestigious handicap sprint.
He is currently a $4.60 second favourite behind Peter Moody-trained gelding Moment Of Change ($2.80).
Moment Of Change was a Group 1 winner at the Spring Carnival and heads into the race on the back of a runner-up finish behind champion stablemate Black Caviar in the Lighting Stakes.
Fellow Perth star Luckygray joins Barakey in tackling the Newmarket without a lead-up and is third favourite at $5.50.