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Smerdon after two runners in Stradbroke

Trainer Robert Smerdon is hoping there will be some last-minute scratchings to enable three-year-old Oak Door to force his way into the Stradbroke Handicap field.

Oak Door sits in 25th spot on the order of entry into Saturday’s 1350m Group One race at Doomben.

The back-up plan is for Oak Door to contest the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m).

Smerdon says the shorter trip is more favourable for Oak Door.

“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.”

Smerdon has yet to book a rider for Oak Door in the Stradbroke but said Craig Williams would ride the colt if he runs in the Guineas.

Williams, who moved to within one win of apprentice Beau Mertens in the chase for Melbourne jockeys’ premiership with a treble at Moonee Valley on Saturday, is booked to ride the Lindsay Park-trained Derryn in the Stradbroke.

Smerdon has also booked Williams for last-start Sandown winner Grand Dreamer in the Brisbane Cup (2200m).

Hooked will be ridden by Noel Callow.

After copping a suspension at Geelong last Friday, Callow stood down from his rides at Moonee Valley on Saturday and Ballarat on Sunday to enable him to ride in the Group One race on Saturday.

Hooked, ninth in the order of entry, is coming off a last-start second to Burning Front in the Robert A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 20.

“Again I think he’s a better 1400-metre horse,” Smerdon said.

“And if it happened to rain, all the better. He loves it.”

Hooked was flown to Brisbane last week and has settled in well while Oak Door and Grand Dreamer are due to fly north this week.

Oak Door and Grand Dreamer have been entered for 1400m and 2500m handicaps at Flemington on Saturday as a precaution against missing their flights to Brisbane.

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