Melbourne Group 1s for Winterbottom Winner Magnifisio

Bullsbrook trainer Jim Taylor is considering a trip east for the 2015 Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival for a shot at the Group 1 sprints with his Winterbottom Stakes winning mare Magnifisio.

Surviving a tense post-race protest in Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse, the Magnus mare came away with her maiden elite level trophy.

In an all-WA trifecta the five-year-old held off Watermans Bay by a quarter length with Shining Knight in third with the eastern state raiders failing to fire over the closing stages of the Railway Stakes Day showdown.

Immediately after the race, and again on RSN’s Correct Weight on Sunday, Taylor made comparisons between Magnifisio and his former Winterbottom winner Barakey.

Out with injury once again after running second to subsequent Railway Stakes winner Elite Belle in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) on October 25, stable ace Barakey won the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes for Taylor before an interstate raid the following autumn.

He travelled to Flemington in March last year on the back of his outstanding Perth form, Barakey having won all 11 of his opening career starts in WA, for a shot at the Group 1 sprints.

After being scratched out of the Oakleigh Plate at the barriers however he debuted in Melbourne in the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).

There Key Business gelding suffered his first defeat as a trip across the country, a wide barrier 12 of 13 draw and the step up in class saw him run a distant 11th behind Shamexpress and pull up lame post-race having injured his knee during the run.

Barakey has raced just four times since with his ongoing leg issues a constant worry, something Taylor said Magnifisio has over him.

“She’s got something on Barakey; she’s a lot sounder,” Taylor said.

“That’s why he can’t travel, because of his bad legs, but she’s a very sound horse and she probably could do that now.”

She also shares a close bloodline to Barakey as her dam Ifestio is a daughter of Barakey’s mother Dance Hi making her a three-quarter sister to the injury-prone champ.

“Dance Hi’s progeny and her daughters’ progeny had won over $3 million before Saturday,” Taylor told The West Australian.

“All from a mare that Aristos (Mihalopoulos) and Terry (Zeppos) bought for $4000.”

Taylor is considering a return to Victoria for the 2015 Newmarket Handicap on March 14 as well as a possible shot at Moonee Valley’s $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later.

“I think her pet distance is 1200, so when she’s meeting the good company I think I’d stick with 12,” he said.

There’s also a chance she could race in Sydney targeting the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, stay on for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in Queensland for the BTC Cup, or even head to Adelaide for The Goodwood over that same distance in May.

Taylor could also race Magnifisio again this campaign in the $200,000 Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) at home on Kingston Town Classic Day, December 6.

“It’s something I’ll talk to the owner about,” Taylor said.

“She’s a 50-50 chance for the Scahill. I’ll just see how she goes the next few days.

“She came through it well and it was a gutsy effort. Every time I put her out and bring her back she seems to get better.”

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