Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker with Aliyana Tilde, down to start at Warwick Farm on Saturday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELIThe Metropolitan is looming as the litmus test for the Melbourne ambitions of Nextanix and Aliyana Tilde, with trainer Kerry Parker confirming the stablemates could meet in the staying feature of the Sydney spring.
The Kembla Grange trainer said he was looking forward to the comeback of Aliyana Tilde – a runner-up in the Australian Oaks – at Warwick Farm on Saturday. The Snitzel filly has been entered for the Listed Toy Show Quality (1300m).
Aliyana Tilde’s racetrack return will come seven days after Nextanix thundered home behind Kontiki Park in his first run of the campaign.
Parker expressed delight at Nextanix’s comeback ahead of a return to Rosehill for the Premier’s Cup (1800m) on Saturday-week.
‘‘You like to know they’re back – he was doing everything right at home and he trialled sharp, and he went to the races and went well,’’ Parker said.
‘‘He usually does sprint well fresh and he’s done the same first-up again this time.
‘‘He’ll go there in a fortnight and then we’ll work out whether we go to Newcastle or somewhere else. His aim will be The Metropolitan at this stage.’’
The $400,000 Group 1 on October 6 will also be a key indicator to Aliyana Tilde’s Melbourne fortunes with Parker non-committal about a start in the Epsom Handicap on the same day.
‘‘She could dour out a bit like she did last time,’’ Parker said.
‘‘I always knew she was going to be better once she got over a bit further.
‘‘It would be nice to stick her on the Epsom line and then go to Melbourne, but if she does dour out a bit you’ve got The Metropolitan there to change shift.
‘‘I’m hoping Melbourne will still be on the cards [for both Nextanix and Aliyana Tilde], but we’ll just get through the Sydney carnival first and we’ll worry about that later.’’
Parker intends to restrict Aliyana Tilde to fillies’ and mares’ races – at least for her first two starts of the campaign.
The Listed Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) at Wyong on September 7 will be next on the agenda.
Veteran jockey Peter Robl is the front-runner to reunite with Nextanix as a result of Blake Shinn’s suspension for his ride on the stayer on Saturday. Shinn was rubbed out by stewards on a careless riding charge. He will begin his ban on Monday and is not due back until September 7.
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