The Listed Goodwood Sprint (1300m) at Belmont on August 23 could feature a highly anticipated clash between Perth’s leading sprinters Smoko and Barakey.
Smoko bounced back from his unlucky defeat in the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m) at Belmont on July 12 with a dominant three lengths victory in the Listed Belmont Newmarket (1200m) at the same venue last Saturday and trainer Ross Price told Racing Ahead that the talented sprinter was a chance of making his weight-for-age debut in the Goodwood Sprint.
The Goodwood Sprint is also expected to feature the reappearance of Barakey, who has not been seen at the races since he finished ninth in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in November and Price said that he would put plenty of thought into running Smoko against the Group 1 winner.
“We are just going to wait and talk to the handicapper in the next few days and see how he pulls up,” Price said.
“He has only just come back from being worked now and everything seems really good with him.
“We may go into The Goodwood on Saturday week over 1300 metres, but it is a weight-for-age race and I will just need to talk to the handicapper and find out what the penalty might be if he happens to win that race.
“We just need to be a little bit careful through your grades that you don’t throw away too much.
“Barakey will be back for that race and everybody is talking up the clash over here if he does happen to start and Barakey is in it as well.
“They are both pretty good sprinters and it would be good on equal weights and a mouth-watering clash on paper, but we still need to be careful what we actually throw away if we do happen to win that.”
Smoko has raced exclusively in Perth since making his racing debut with a comfortable fourth lengths victory at Belmont Park in May last year, but Price said that he hopes to give the five-year-old an opportunity outside of his home state at some point in his racing career.
Price revealed that connections were considering a trip to Victoria for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) earlier this year, but the Snitzel gelding was unable to make the trip East due to injury and at this stage he won’t be making an appearance during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“We were probably going to head across with him for the Oakleigh Plate this year, but he had some issues after pulling up from his last start at Ascot,” Price said.
“It took us a long time to get him over those, so we weren’t able to bring him across then and this prep I don’t think he would come across.
“We would probably look at it maybe the autumn.”
Smoko has recorded six wins from his seven race starts to date and has accumulated over $200,000 in prizemoney for connections.