Smokin’ Oak one final hit out before Karaka 3yo Million race

Smokin' Oak
Smokin’ Oak
Smokin’ Oak will round off his preparation for a pot of northern gold when he steps out at Awapuni.

The smart son of Burgundy will make an appearance in Saturday’s Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services 3YO Premier (1300m) before stepping up to a mile.

“There’s not really another option, but if the rain comes it will be more like 1500m,” trainer John Bary said.

“After this he’ll got to Ellerslie for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.”

Smokin’ Oak has won two of his five starts, including a last-start defeat at Trentham of Savvy Coup, who subsequently beat Dijon Bleu and Contessa Vanessa in the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m).

The gelding won that race on a firm surface, while his maiden victory at Waipukurau in September came in heavy going.

“He’s a very versatile horse who can handle it wet and he can run some amazing times on good tracks,” Bary said.

He has also been pleased with the progress of his Listed Gallagher Marton Cup (2100m) hope High Spirits since her last-start Chalmers Handicap (3200m) success.

Meanwhile, Smokin’ Oak’s talented stablemate King Louis will make his next appearance at Trentham on Saturday week.

“He’s a big, strong horse who’s doing everything right,” Bary said. “He’s only two, but we have to work him like a three-year-old.”

King Louis finished runner-up on debut in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) before the Equiano colt ran fifth in the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m).

He has been set for the Group 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on March 31.

“That’s his main goal and the 1400m will suit him,” Bary said. “He’s a very relaxed horse.”

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