Trainer Robert Smerdon is hopeful that scratchings will lead to classy three-year-old Oak Door gaining a position in Saturday’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap field at Doomben Racecourse.
Oak Door has shown plenty of ability throughout his short but impressive racing career so far and will take to the barriers in his next race with a commendable record of four wins and as many minors, from only thirteen competitive starts.
Revealing that the Commands colt will take his place in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) should he not gain a start in the Stradbroke Handicap field, Smerdon told AAP that he believes Oak Door will be far better over 1350m and is hopeful he will gain a berth in the feature race.
“He’s won a Group Two before and he’s an entire,” Smerdon said.
“If he won the Guineas it just consolidates his future, but if he could win a Group One then you’ve got a real commercial product.
“I think also he’s better at 1350 or 1400 metres than at the mile.”
Oak Door immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow when he debuted to racing during the autumn of 2016, but the horse has undoubtedly returned more furnished and a far-better horse as a three-year-old.
Posting a number of strong results in late spring, Oak Door was kept in work through summer and finished second in the Joe Brown BM78 (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day, before posting consecutive wins in the Yarramalong Racing Club BM64 (1400m) and Better Beyond BM78 (1400m).
Placing fourth amongst classy company in the ATA Celebrates 50 Years (1400m) on January 28th, the colt out of Beyonce’s Star made a perfect transition to black type company when a comfortable winner of the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 11th.
Returned to the paddock after finishing mid-pack in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), Oak Door returned to racing for a credible fourth in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) on May 20th and has reportedly taken plenty of benefit from the run.
The 2017 Stradbroke Handicap field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
Oak Door is currently available at early 2017 Stradbroke Handicap odds of $81 at Ladbrokes.com.au.