Oxford Poet headed to Doomben

Oxford Poet at Rosehill
Oxford Poet wins the 2016 Winter Stakes at Rosehill Gardens. (Bradley Photos)

Stakes-winner Oxford Poet will dodge the better horses in Sydney as he attempts to win his first race in a year at Doomben.

Oxford Poet won the Listed Winter Stakes in July last year before running second to Marenostro in the $150,000 Winter Challenge final at Rosehill.

But his form has not been as good this preparation and he ran 12th in the Winter Stakes won by Slightly Sweet last Saturday week.

Trainer Kim Waugh has opted to send Oxford Poet north in an effort to get his confidence back in the Open Handicap (1350m).

“It starts to get bit harder in Sydney from now on and the Doomben race does look a nice one for him,” Waugh said.

“He won two trials at Gosford and since then has raced twice. He is fit and well and provided we drew a good barrier, which we have, he was always going north this week.”

Waugh hopes to offset Oxford Poet’s top weight of 58.5kg by booking top jockey Damian Browne for the ride.

“Damian hasn’t ridden or us much but he is highly regarded everywhere,” she said.

Oxford Poet could return to Sydney racing depending on how he performs on Saturday.

Waugh has had to nurse Oxford Poet through hoof problems throughout his career which has netted five wins and 15 placings from 29 starts.

The trainer will make up her mind on Thursday night whether to also send King Viv to Brisbane for the Open Handicap (2030m) at Doomben.

King Viv has not won past 1350m but Waugh believes he is ready to race well at the longer distance.

“I have him in Sydney as well. But the 2000 metres up there will suit him. I just have to decide which race looks the weaker,” she said.

The trainer will have Shiraz in the Winter Challenge after his fourth in the Winter Stakes.

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