Trainer Robert Smerdon has confirmed that classy last-start winner Oak Door will take his position in the 2017 Australian Guineas field at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Oak Door has experienced something of a meteoric rise to prominence through his eleven-start racing career so far and was last seen storming home to beat a talented field to the line in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) on February 11th; his first appearance at black type level.
Smerdon told AAP that the Commands colt has only improved from the run and is worthy of a place in what is set to be an excellent 2017 Australian Guineas field this weekend.
“We thought we’d give him the chance at the higher level,” Smerdon said.
“They’re only three-year-olds once. So we’ll roll the dice.
“He was in the early nominations so it was in the back of our mind. But when he came out here and won the Group Two then you had to give it serious consideration.”
Oak Door showed plenty of ability through a handful of trials prior to his competitive debut, but the colt was returned to the paddock after failing to produce much through two autumn starts last year.
Resuming in October for second in a Cranbourne minor over 1000m, Oak Door broke his maiden in the Cams Security Plate (1100m) at Kyneton on November 2nd, but failed to produce his best when sixth of only eight runners in the Ballarat Magic Millions 3&4YO Classic (1100m).
Finishing in the minors in both the Dorevitch Pathology BM70 (1200m) and Joe Brown BM78 (1200m) through December, Oak Door returned to winning form in the Yarramalong Racing Club BM64 (1400m) at Sandown on January 4th.
The three-year-old is yet to be tested over the mile of the Australian Guineas 2017, but Smerdon is confident that he will relish a return to the wide Flemington track, at which he was a comfortable winner of the Better Beyond BM78 (1400m) on January 14th.
The 2017 Australian Guineas field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday (March 1st).
Oak Door is currently available at early 2017 Australian Guineas odds of $17 at Ladbrokes.com.au.