Crack Perth sprinter Barakey will make his return to racing at Northam on Sunday, kicking off his winter campaign in advance of another local favourite Luckygray.
Luckygray Horseform, a triple G1 winner of the Kingston Town Classic and Railway Stakes twice, is gearing up for a winter comeback after he was sidelined by a freak mishap almost 12 months ago.
The Trevor Andrews-trained gelding injjured his off hind and near foreleg when he escaped his handler at the Ascot equine pool last May.
He then damaged ligaments in a hind leg when he was about to start a spring preparation, forcing him out of the big Ascot races over the Perth carnival in November and December.
Andrews has been patient with the rising eight-year-old and was pleased by the way he performed when finishing fourth in a recent 1000m barrier trial at Belmont.
While the JIm Taylor-trained Barakey Horseform is up and going for Sunday’s $125,000 Northam Stakes (1100m), Andrews his biding time until the $150,000 Roma Cup (1200m) at Belmont on May 16 to kick off Luckygray’s comeback.
“We’ll give him a good couple of gallops in the next few weeks. He’ll start in the Roma Cup, Belmont Sprint and Hyperion Stakes then go out and come back to try and win a third Railway Stakes,” Andrews said.
Luckygray has not raced since his finished fourth to Magnifisio in the Roma Cup last year.
The $150,000 Belmont Sprint (1400m) will be run on May 30 under weight-for-age conditions for the first time with the $150,000 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) on June 13.
Meanwhile Taylor will rush back to Perth from Adelaide to saddle Barakey at Northam after he starts last year’s Winterbottom Stakes winner Magnifisio Horseform in the $400,000 William Hill Classic at Morphettville on Saturday.
Barakey, also a Winterbottom Stakes winner in 2012, has been working in blinkers and Taylor is confident he is ready to produce top form at his first start since finishing second in the G3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot last October.
Barakey, also rising eight, has had two trials in the lead-up to his return, running second at Belmont Park in his latest hit-out, and will have the advantage of race fitness when he runs in the Roma Cup on May 16.
Barakey’s rivals on Sunday include emerging star Fuchsia Bandana Horseform, Cool Trade Horseform, Dawn Approach Horseform, Rock Magic Horseform, Travinator Horseform, Shining Knight Horseform and Ranger Horseform.
The Darren McAuliffe-trained Fuchsia Bandana’s stepped up at the Ascot carnival to win the Northerly Stakes (1400m) and finish second to Magnifisio in the Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m) before fifths in both G1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and G1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m).
Fuchsia Bandana is also set to run in the Roma Cup, Belmont Sprint and Hyperion Stakes.