Bulked-up Barakey faces biggest test
Jaso Brown on star sprinter Barakey. Pic: Hollands Photographics

Unbeaten Barakey can draw level with triple Group 1 winner Hay List tomorrow when he races in top company for the first time in the $100,000 Northam Toyota Stakes (1100m).

Hay List won at his first eight starts for trainer Jim Taylor in a meteoric rise to fame before the bubble burst when he finished sixth to Revolition in the 2009 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) at Ascot.

The Colonel Reeves was to be the last start Hay List had for Taylor.

The gelding's managing owner and breeder Terry Davenport took him off WA's leading trainer after hoof soreness prevented the horse from running in the 2010 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

Taylor does not have any such soreness issues with Barakey, who, like the $2.54 million earner Hay List, has been nursed through the classes in the past 12 months.

Owners Aristos Mihalopoulos and Terry Zeppos have knocked back several big offers for the Key Business four-year-old.

Taylor is confident Barakey has improved significantly on his electrifying first-up victory when he coasted to a 1 1/2 -length win over 1100m at Ascot three weeks ago.

The strapping gelding went within 0.85sec. of eclipsing Moonlight Drive's 2009 State record of 1min. 2.56sec.

"He has the perfect weight (54kg) not giving away any points," Taylor said. "I didn't realise he was that fat and he had a good blow first-up.

"He is about 30kg heavier this time in and I have stepped up his work a lot since his first run.

"He'll be a lot fitter on Sunday."

Meanwhile, Alan Mathews believes last year's Geraldton Cup winner I Don't Recall's drop to 54.5kg is a big positive in his rise in class for today's $80,000 Amelia Park York Stakes (1600m).

I Don't Recall finished powerfully to claim last Saturday's Diggers' Cup (1800m) at Ascot.

"I'm really happy with him and he's done well since last week," Mathews said. "It is a difficult time of year because if he were to race again in a fortnight he would have 59.5kg or 60kg.

"He is in the right race. He raced a little bit strong over the 1800m last week and the higher tempo here should suit him."

The West Australian

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