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Oak Door claims Group Two win

Oak Door has put a case forward for a possible crack at the Australian Guineas with a fighting on-speed win in the Autumn Stakes at Caulfield.

The Robert Smerdon-trained colt was able to roll across from a wide barrier in Saturday’s Group Two 1400m-race for three-year-olds and kept responding after controlling the race.

Oak Door defeated Attention by a length with Knowable, who beat the winner when they last met, another short half-head third.

The victory gave jockey Damian Lane an early winning double from the first two races after Second Bullet scored a convincing win in the opening race.

Smerdon said he was unsure where Oak Door would go next but he could look to stretch him out to 1800m in the Group Two Autumn Classic at the same track in two weeks.

He will also consider the Group One Australian Guineas a week later over 1600m.

“He’s entered for the Australian Guineas, so it’s something to think about,” Smerdon said.

“You never make a decision on race day. You’d have to think about it, I reckon.”

Saturday’s race was Oak Door’s ninth in a preparation which began in a maiden at Cranbourne in October but Smerdon said the colt had shown no signs he was coming to the end of his campaign.

Smerdon said the way Lane was able to cross from the wide gate without doing too much work helped Oak Door.

“He came across at a controlled gallop and while he was positive in his intention. He was certainly controlled and contained him,” Smerdon said.

“You always felt down the side, because they sat up mid-race, that he was going to give a good kick. He beat some nice horses there today.”

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