Perth trainer Jim Taylor has put a disastrous Melbourne Autumn Carnival behind him as he prepares his sprinting sensation Barakey to defend his Winterbottom Stakes crown over the Summer.
Barakey had taken the Western Australian racing scene by storm and was undefeated from ten starts before scoring at his first attempt at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 24 last year.
A trip to Melbourne for the Autumn was warranted, but Taylor couldn’t have foreseen what bad luck lay ahead.
Barakey was sent out as one of the top fancies in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23 but went off in the barriers and had to be scratched.
Taylor then corrected his barrier manners and lined him up in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.
But after finishing a disappointing eleventh behind Shamexpress, Barakey showed signs of lameness and had to undergo surgery to remove a bone chip form his near fore knee.
Back in work for three weeks, Taylor is looking forward to his stable star being right to line up in this this year’s Winterbottom Stakes during the Perth Summer Carnival.
“He looks really good and he feels better than he did six months ago before he went to Melbourne,” Taylor told the Sportsman.
“The way things are at the moment he should race at the Perth Carnival.”
Taylor will stick to weight for age races for Barakey and has selected the Group 3 $125,000 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on October 26 as his comeback race.
Barakey is relatively lightly raced for a six year old, having only competed twelve times for eleven wins earning connections almost $700,000 in prizemoney.
From the first day Barakey stepped onto the race track for his debut win at Belmont in June, 2011, he has captivated the Perth crowds with his dazzling performances and Taylor is hoping that the six year old can regain his brilliant form.