Trainer Kerry Parker’s tough staying mare Aliyana Tilde takes her first steps towards a Caulfield Cup start when she resumes in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersall’s Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 is on the agenda for Aliyana Tilde if she can regain her good Autumn form.
The five year old mare scored at Group 3 level in the $125,000 TAB Eponia Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on March 30 on her way to running third, beaten less than a length by Mourayan in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 27.
Baker had originally planned to kick off Aliyana Tilde in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on August 24, but decided to wait the extra two weeks for the 1600m Chelmsford Stakes.
“The 1400m of the Warwick Stakes was always going to be sharp with Rain Affair in it and she’d just be chasing all the way, so a couple of extra weeks and get her ready for a mile I thought was a better option for her,” Parker told the Sportsman.
Aliyana Tilde had a quiet Spring last year and Parker put that down to a tough Autumn campaign previous which saw her run second to Streama in the 2012 Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
“She was still probably a little flat from the preparation before and rather than bust her, I just decided to throw her back in the paddock and let her mature up,” Parker said.
“She’s had a pretty tough Oaks run and being a filly who was only tiny that was probably the best thing I could have done for her because she ended up developing really good through her break.”
Aliyana Tilde will be looking for more ground later in the Spring so she is naturally at long odds on Saturday and has been posted a $61 chance coming up against last start Warwick Stakes winner Veyron ($4.20 favourite) and Chris Waller’s three top fancies Bayrir ($4.60) and Beaten Up and Hawkspur, both marked at $5.
Waller will saddle up six runners in the Chelmsford Stakes, his other runners being Metal Bender ($10), Kelinni ($31) and Moriarty ($61).
In early Caulfield Cup markets Aliyana Tilde has been posted a $51 chance with the Mark Kavanagh trained Super Cool heading the betting at $10 just ahead of Gai Waterhouse’s import Fiorente.