Trainer Jim Taylor has cast grave doubt on star sprinter Barakey contesting the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 22.

The Key Business gelding is battling to overcome an illness after his shock loss to Elite Belle in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot last month.

The seven-year-old started a red-hot favourite but unexpectedly faded to second after leading the field until the turn for jockey, Jason Brown.

Taylor says Barakey is facing a race against time to be fully fit and would need to display significant improvement by the end of the week.

“He was found to have a virus after the Prince of Wales Stakes and is still not 100 per cent right,” said Taylor on TABradio.

“He is doing some slow work after his temperature returned to normal for the first time this morning (Tuesday).

“I’m hoping he is good by the weekend so he can start doing a bit more serious work and get up to the Winterbottom.

“But if he doesn’t sort of buck up and improve then yeah we are going to have to put him out.”

Taylor has poured the work into Magnifisio who tackles the WAROA-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on Saturday.

The Magnus mare, who is on the cusp of half-a-million dollars in stake earnings, has yet to be tested beyond 1200m.

Offsetting a distance query is her almost impeccable second-up record of four wins and one second from five attempts.

The five-year-old should strip far fitter after she ran fourth to Elite Belle when resuming in the Prince of Wales Stakes.

“She pulled up very fat and I was a little disappointed,” said Taylor.

“There is normally not much between her and Elite Belle.

“I’ve stepped up her work and although the 1400m is not her best distance I expect her to improve somewhat.”

Magnifisio has drawn barrier seven in the field of nine and will be in the hands of Jason Brown.

RWWA: Julio Santarelli