Bookmaker Alan Eskander says WA stars Barakey and Mr Moet will struggle to produce their best form in tomorrow's Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
Eskander, the head of Betstar, claimed Mr Moet was well under the odds at a $3.70 second favourite as the five-year-old has a poor second-up record.
His maiden run at Caulfield a fortnight ago was "inflated" when coming home over the last 50m to run third to All Too Hard and Mawingo in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
Player firmed Mr Moet from $3.50 into $3.10 favourite and Sportsbet has the Railway Stakes winner a $3.50 second favourite behind Mawingo at $3.20 in the field of eight for the Group 2 race.
"While Mr Moet did run superior late sectionals to those of his competitors in the Orr, the fast pace provided by King Mufhasa early gifted it to the backmarkers," Eskander said.
"There is a case to say that had Mawingo got the clear running late that Mr Moet enjoyed he would have actually won.
"It's my opinion that Mr Moet's run actually wasn't as good as it looked. I'm expecting Mr Moet to suffer second-up syndrome here.
"His record of four unplaced efforts in his five starts second-up makes me keen to take him on."
Eskander raised questions about Barakey's ability to stand up to Victorian Group 1 form.
"No doubt Barakey's the best in the west, but in no way has he faced pressure like he will this week," Eskander said.
"He's up against the likes of international Group 1 winner Ortensia and Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim, not to mention last-start Group winners Sea Lord and Adebisi.
"He was a big fish in a small pond over there and he has a lot to prove for me.
"The general market price at the moment is unders."
Barakey firmed from $3.20 into $3.10 on Player for his maiden Melbourne start. Betstar has Barakey its $3.50 favourite, while Sportsbet has him posted as its $3.20 top elect.
Trainer Jim Taylor (Barakey) and Adam Durrant (Mr Moet) were pleased after final work-outs at Caulfield and Mornington.
"He did three laps of the 250m inner track," Taylor said. "He then went on to the main track and did evens over 800 and a working gallop over 200m.
"He is eating his head off and I hope he can get the run to win."
Jason Brown, who has ridden Barakey at his 11 wins, is due in Melbourne today. Daniel Staeck has been in Victoria since Monday to put Mr Moet through his paces.
"He was a big fish in a small pond over there and he has a lot to prove for me."" Bookie *Alan Eskander *on Barakey