Trainers Jim Taylor and Simon Miller are great friends off the track but will be firm rivals in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Taylor will saddle Barakey and Waratah’s Secret while Miller will pin his faith on Power Princess in the half-a-million-dollar feature.
Taylor has bragging rights with Barakey dominating Western Australian racing since a scorching debut last year.
The Key Business gelding has been unstoppable with 10 wins from as many starts including his previous appearance in the Colonel Reeves (1100m) on Melbourne Cup day.
The five-year-old is the hot $2.35 favourite on Player but Taylor conceded he was starting to feel the pressure in the lead up to the big race.
“I’m starting to know how Peter Moody feels,” Taylor said.
“The pressure is building to keep his unbeaten record intact.
“I’m shattered he has drawn the widest gate and it’s going to be difficult to maintain his unbeaten status.”
Taylor won’t rule out Waratah’s Secret and believes the $41 offered by Player is generous.
The Oratorio gelding had his first run for Taylor in the Colonel Reeves and wasn’t disgraced when third to stablemate Barakey.
“He really hit the line well and another 20m he would have run second,” said Taylor.
“It was a very good effort with 61.5kg and he won’t be too far away.”
Power Princess is rated a $7 chance by Player after scoring an impressive win in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) on October 27.
It was the mare’s first run back since returning from an Adelaide campaign that included a third place to Black Caviar at Morphettville.
“Her work this week has been her best this preparation,” Miller said.
Noted frontrunner Travinator will give rivals something to chase, drawn ideally in barrier one.
The Moysater gelding posted a breathtaking win a fortnight back when he demolished rivals by more than six lengths.
Champion jockey Glen Boss will take the ride and is sure to hit the “go” button as soon as the gates fly open.
Travinator, on the second line of Player betting at $4.40, could be a genuine star on the rise or may be a season away from his best.