Winterbottom Stakes winner Barakey is on track to take on the top sprinters in the east after scoring an all the way win in a 1000m Belmont barrier trial today.
Western Australia’s new sprinting sensation Barakey rose through the classes with a series of breath taking wins before taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on November 24 to take his tally to eleven wins from eleven starts.
Trainer Jim Taylor said at the time that Barakey would have to go to the eastern states to take on the best and today’s trial win indicates that the five year old is on track for 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.”
Taylor will give Barakey another trial next week before heading to Melbourne for 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.
“He’ll probably have another next Monday to bring him on a little bit,” Taylor said.
“He is really good but he looks pretty big at the moment.”
Barakey lived up all expectations at his Group 1 debut in the Winterbottom and after beginning fast from an outside barrier sat behind speedster Travinator until the 300m when jockey Jason Brown pushed the gelding to the lead and held off all the challengers to score a half length win over the fast finishing Power Princess and Queenslander Spirit Of Boom.
The Oakleigh Plate is already attracting attention with last year’s winner Woorim on track to defend his title and Peter Moody’s new stable acquisition Karuta Queen also heading to the Caulfield Group 1 sprint.