The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
While the pressure of an interstate debut against a crack field on Blue Diamond Stakes Day in a Group 1 vying to retain a to date flawless race record would usually be immense, Bullsbrook-based trainer Jim Taylor is relieved the hype is still on Black Caviar as his WA speedster Barakey prepares for just that in Saturday’s Oakleigh Plate 2013.
Last weekend Black Caviar stole the show in Melbourne resuming off a lengthy injury-enforced spell to break a track record and become a $7 million earner with her third straight Lightning Stakes triumph which was the mighty mare’s 23rd career win from as many starts.
This Saturday the attention turns to Caulfield where another sprint classic will run, the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) set to attract a quality field.
Heading the Oakleigh Plate nominations this year is another undefeated runner in Key Business five-year-old Barakey who travels over from Perth to make their Melbourne debut here.
Last start the gelding broke their Group 1 maiden status with a nice win in the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on November 24 and they are now on track to make their highly-anticipated return in the Oakleigh where they will look to stretch their unbeaten record to 12.
“He defeated some handy Group 1 horses (in the Winterbottom), so I thought it would be worthwhile bringing him across,” Taylor said.
If it weren’t for Black Caviar and her 23 wins there would be far more spruiking of Barakey going on but Taylor is quite happy to fly under the radar somewhat here.
“She makes his winning streak pale into insignificance, and it takes the pressure off a little bit as we’re not even halfway there,” Taylor said.
“Eleven from 11 is remarkable but 23 from 23, that’s another thing.
“She’s in a class of her own.
“We’re a long way second with the winning streak.”
And while Barakey may be yet to taste defeat Taylor is far from bullish heading into Saturday’s tough assignment where his horse’s possible rivals include international Group 1 winning mare Ortensia, the in-form Adebisi and last year’s winner Woorim.
“We’re going to be in a handicap with a capacity field,” Tayor pointed out.
“He might draw 16 from 16 and then we’d be a 10-1 shot.
“Also it’s going to be a great race as we’re going to be up against the likes of Ortensia and Woorim.”
Still Barakey is a nice type in with a chance with Taylor making some comparisons to his former stable star Hay List who he prepared for their opening nine starts which resulted in eight consecutive wins.
“They are very similar horses,” he said.
“Hay List was a bigger, heavier horse with feet issues. Like Barakey, he was a real speed horse.”
Following the Oakleigh Plate Taylor is then looking at the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9 for Barakey who occupies the third line of futures betting at $5 following Peter Moody’s Lightning Stakes quinella Black Caviar ($2.30 but doubtful) and Moment Of Change ($4).
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