Bullsbrook trainer Jim Taylor is gearing up for a massive weekend and admits the task of preparing for an interstate feature double has proved a challenging exercise.
Taylor saddles Magnifisio in the Group 1 William Hill Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday before turning his attention to Barakey’s return in the Listed Northam Stakes (1100m) 24 hours later.
‘I’ve been torn between the two states and would have like to have spent more time with Magnifisio but Barakey takes a bit more management,” said Taylor on TABradio.
After two trial hit outs and a track gallop at Ascot last Wednesday when he covered the final 600m in 34.56sec., Taylor says Barakey is poised for a successful return.
“He is ready to go and is pretty forward,” said Taylor.
“The work on the Ascot grass has really sharpened him up.
“He was going around sluggish but that has switched him on.”
Leg injuries have plagued Barakey during his career and restricted him to just two starts in 2014.
He won the Goodwood Sprint and ran second to Elite Belle in the Prince Of Wales Stakes.
The Key Business gelding has won 13 of 16 starts and is closing in on $1 million in stake earnings.
Barakey, who has drawn barrier one, will carry 57.5kg in the Northam Stakes, the first time the race has been run at set weights and penalties.
Taylor is chasing his third win in the Northam Stakes and Barakey his second after defeating Cavallo Pazzo by a big margin in 2012.
Taylor combined with Vain Raider in 2009.
Taylor says Shining Knight poses the biggest threat to Barakey.
The son of Blackfriars, prepared by Grant Williams, defeated glamour horse, Black Heart Bart, in last December’s Crawford Stakes (1000m).
“Shining Knight is the up and coming horse,” said Taylor.
“If it keeps improving each preparation it might be the horse to beat.”
Peter Hall rides Shining Knight from barrier three. The gelding carries 57.5kg.
Taylor is confident Magnifisio can improve on her first-up showing in Adelaide two weeks ago.
The Magnus mare ran fourth in the RN Irwin Stakes (1000m) but wasn’t suited on a rain affected Morphettville surface.
“Apart from Angelic Light these are the best mares in Australia,” said Taylor.
“I wasn’t hoping it would be as strong but this will tell us how good she is.
“If she can get a soft run she can sprint with the best of them on a good track.
“She should be in the first four at least.”
Jason Brown partners Magnifisio from barrier four.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli