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Smerdon double at Sandown with smart types

Robert Smerdon has trained a Sandown double with two talented horses but is resigned to losing one to overseas interests.

Let’s Go To Rio, winner of the Splashland Plate is likely to head to Asia while Yarramalong Racing Club Handicap winner Oak Door will remain in Smerdon’s care after connections knocked back an offer from Hong Kong.

Oak Door was a $340,000 yearling and Smerdon said an offer close to that amount had come for the colt.

But connections are keen to race the three-year-old in Australia and Smerdon now has to find a way to recoup the colt’s purchase price.

“We could get it back tomorrow,” Smerdon said.

“I said to the owners last week there had been an offer from Hong Kong and they emailed back saying ‘thanks for the offer but we’re keeping the horse’.

“It’s hard yards (getting it back) on the track but he’s sound and it’s the fun of racing for these people.”

Smerdon said Oak Door was a lovely type of colt and looked every bit of his value in the parade ring before the race.

“I thought, let’s hope he shows it,” Smerdon said.

Smerdon says he expects Oak Door to stretch out to 1600m after leading throughout over Wednesday’s 1400 metres.

He said the colt’s racing manners have to date cost him in his seven-start career.

“I reckon he’ll get to black type level. If he gets to 1600 metres it opens up a few doors,” Smerdon said.

Let’s Go To Rio is owned in Hong Kong by David Price and Smerdon expects the son of Captain Rio to do his future racing overseas.

After second placings in maiden company at Cranbourne and Mornington, Let’s Go To Rio led throughout in the 1300m maiden on Wednesday.

Smerdon said Price was in the business of buying and selling horses, preferably to Asia.

“He probably doesn’t qualify for Hong Kong yet so he’ll have to go to the races somewhere and then he (Price) will decide where he’s off to,” Smerdon said.

“They all go somewhere, it’s just a matter of where.”

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