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Brisbane trial for Oak Door at Flemington

The performance of Oak Door in a stakes race up the straight at Flemington will determine whether the three-year-old is a contender for richer races in Brisbane.

The Robert Smerdon-trained three-year-old returns after a break in Saturday’s Listed Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington.

Smerdon says Brisbane options for Oak Door are the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) or the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m), both at Eagle Farm on June 10.

“He’s a three-year-old against the older horses on Saturday and the run will determine whether he goes to Brisbane and for what race,” Smerdon said.

“He’s already nominated for the Stradbroke which is run the same day as the Queensland Guineas.

“He could run in either of those races but if we’re not happy he might not go at all.”

The winner of four of his 12 starts, Oak Door hasn’t raced since finishing ninth to Hey Doc in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in February.

It followed an all-the-way win in the Group Two Autumn Stakes at Caulfield earlier that month.

Smerdon is pleased with Oak Door’s progress towards his first-up run which includes a trial win at Cranbourne last month before finishing down the track in another trial on May 8.

“His last one was in very heavy conditions and we didn’t want to get to the bottom of him but the horse is in good shape,” Smerdon said.

Smerdon has elected to keep Now Or Later at Flemington for the Lloyd Williams Hall of Fame Trophy (1400m) instead of the Group Three Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.

The imported mare finished 15th behind Secret Agenda in her Australian debut in the Group One UBET Classic at Morphettville on May 6.

“Going to Adelaide for the Group Three isn’t going to change her life,” Smerdon said.

“She’s a Group winner already so we’ve decided to give her a run at 1400 metres before she has a break for the spring.”

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