Barakey Still On Track for 2013 Newmarket Handicap

Unbeaten Perth sprinter Barakey is still on track for a start in the Group 1 2013 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) despite being scratched at the barriers in Saturday’s 2013 Oakleigh Plate.

The five-year-old was the Oakleigh Plate favourite but unfortunately had to be withdrawn at the last moment after trying to burrow through the barriers and striking his head.

Trainer Jim Taylor thought he would have been fine to race but said it “was just one of those things” and is now looking to the Newmarket on March 9.

Barakey is second favourite at $4.50 for the nation’s most prestigious handicap sprint behind Lightning Stakes runner-up Moment Of Change ($2.80).

But first the speedster will have to satisfy stewards he is right to race in a jump-out at Flemington next Tuesday.

Taylor admits the situation is not ideal but has not considered bypassing the $1 million race.

“History shows the Newmarket is really hard to win first-up,” Taylor said.

“We had the perfect plan to have him go into it second-up but that’s not the case now.”

The son of Key Business will be making his east-coast debut in the Newmarket after proving untouchable in 11 starts in his home state.

Also set to run first-up in the Newmarket is fellow Perth star Luckygray who accompanied Barakey on his flight from Perth last week.

The five-year-old grey is coming off a stellar Perth Summer Racing Carnival campaign where he won the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic and Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes and finished second in the Group 1 Railway Stakes.

Luckygray is third favourite in Newmarket betting at $6.50 ahead of Queensland colt Better Than Ready ($12), triple Group 1 winner Ortensia ($21) and three-year-old Shamexpress ($21).

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