Scratched Oakleigh Plate favourite Barakey has come through last Saturday’s barrier incident fine and trainer Jim Taylor will push onto the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in two weeks.
Taylor has to face the dilemma of going into the Newmarket Handicap first-up and Barakey will also have to pass a barrier test for the stewards after trying to dive under the front of the starting stalls prior to the start of the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The undefeated Western Australian sprinter escaped injury and Taylor will now organise a jump out down the Flemington straight and get his barrier clearance to clear the way for a start in the Newmarket.
“He’s good, now worries there,” Taylor said.
“I’m not sure yet what day he will have a jump out. I will speak to the course manager and see what he can tell me.”
“The important thing is that he is as good as gold this morning.”
Barakey was going for his twelfth straight win in the Oakleigh Plate and even though Taylor expected the five year old to win, he has been around racing long enough to take the good with the bad and accepted the decision of the veterinary surgeon to scratch him at the barriers.
“He’s favourite and they have got to err on the side of caution. You can’t blame anyone,” Taylor said.
“He would have led that field on its ear and, from there, he would have been hard to beat.”
Sydney mare Mrs Onassis sat outside the leader, Queenslander Adebisi and forged clear half way down the straight to take out the Oakleigh Plate from Facile Tigre and Spirit Of Boom.
Taylor knows that he is putting Barakey’s undefeated record on the line by going into the Newmarket first-up but he has no option as the Oakleigh Plate was going to be his lead up run.
“I’ve been told it’s 95 years since a horse won the Newmarket first-up and that’s why I had him in the Oakleigh Plate so he would be running in the Newmarket second-up,” Taylor said.
“I know he’ll be taking on history but that’s the way the ball rolls sometimes.”
Barakey was to have his first run in the Eastern states at Caulfield on Saturday after making it eleven wins on the trot in winning the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on November 24 last year.
Western Australia’s other favourite galloper, Luckygray who is trained by Gino Poletti, will trial at Flemington next week and Taylor thinks the grey five year old is the one to beat in the Newmarket.
“You haven’t seen the best of him in the eastern states,” Taylor said.
“I think he would have won the Orr Stakes easily if he had have started in it as he’s a four or five-length better horse than Mr Moet, who finished within a length of All Too Hard.”
Luckygray hasn’t started since winning the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch.Mobi – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 8.