Bunbury co-trainer Ross Price has left the door ajar for Smoko to take on Barakey in next fortnight’s Goodwood Sprint (1300m) at Belmont Park.
Smoko cemented his status as Western Australian racing’s newest sprint star with an explosive maiden Listed win in Saturday’s Belmont Newmarket (1200m).
The Snitzel gelding treated his rivals with disdain when he showed blistering speed to lead throughout and score by a dominant three lengths.
It was Smoko’s sixth win from seven starts and atonement after a luckless second to Pininci in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m).
A showdown with Group 1 champion Barakey would be a marketer’s dream and leave racegoers salivating with anticipation.
Barakey, a winner of 12 of 14 starts and $735,500 in stake earnings, hasn’t raced since last year’s Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) when unplaced behind Buffering.
Trainer Jim Taylor identified the Goodwood Sprint as the Key Business gelding’s return and has him primed after two trial hit outs over 1000m.
Price said there were many options available to Smoko but he would confirm a decision by the end of the week after conferring with owner, Frank Fiore.
“The Goodwood is a possibility and I will go to the weekend before I make that decision,” said Price on Tabradio.
“It will be another big step up at weight-for-age and it won’t be an easy task but so far he has done everything I have asked.
“He is a young horse coming through and Barakey has been a great horse who is probably in the twilight of his career compared to Smoko.
“They are probably going to meet at some stage so it will be interesting.”
Meanwhile Price will unveil Struggle Town for his long awaited debut in the Mandurah Stockfeeds Maiden (1200m) at Pinjarra on Thursday.
The son of Keep The Faith, drawn in six for jockey William Pike, has trialled twice and has some claims on a 930m Lark Hill win last month.
“He is a nice little horse who has taken time a fair while to get there,” said Price.
“He had a few manner issues but we have him going well now.
“His two trials have been quite good and his last one was quite strong on a pretty heavy track.
“Willie has stuck with him so I think he is an each way chance.”