They were three lengths off Saturday’s odds-on Australian Oaks 2012 favourite Streama last start but Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker remains hopefuls his improving filly Aliyana Tilde can turn the tables in a Royal Randwick upset this weekend.
Just eight three-year-old fillies make up this year’s $550,000 Group 1 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) field, Guy Walter’s Flight Stakes winner Streama the odds-on favourite at bookmaker.com.au.
Streama is proven at the track and in the wet, which is going to come into play with Randwick currently rated a Heavy (8), and she comes off an eye-catching second when beaten only a half-length by the brilliant Mosheen in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 7.
While it is easy to see why Streama is dominating the Australian Oaks betting markets, she is yet to see the 2400-metres.
Vinery Stud Stakes third placegetter Aliyana Tilde is also set to back up in the ATC Oaks on Saturday, and while she is going to be a lot longer in the odds Parker is confident she can give the favourite a run for her money.
“I think she’s a genuine chance, no doubt at all,” Parker said.
“I’m very happy with her and she’s doing everything right.”
While Aliyana Tilde is also stepping up in distance here Parker believes it will be the extra 400-metres that separates the contenders from the pretenders and he just hopes that the big danger Streama falls into the later.
“We’ve probably got to hope Streama doesn’t run 2400 metres out strongly to give us a chance but all in all I think she’s a genuine hope,” he said.
Still Parker respects Streama, especially after Aliyana Tilde crossed three lengths off her in the Vinery.
“We obviously went into that race hoping for an upset but all in all we were thrilled she got a Group One placing behind the two class fillies,” Parker said of the Vinery Stud Stakes.
“No doubt Streama is the horse to beat on Saturday.
“She gave us a licking and put three or four lengths on us at the top of the straight in the Vinery but I thought our filly chased hard and ran right to the line.
“Put another 400 metres on and that might help.”
Parker said he had been targeting Snitzel filly Aliyana Tilde for the Australian Oaks since early last year when he got the indication that she would see out the distance.
“I think after her second start in a race last year we thought we better bring her back this time in and aim for the Oaks,” Parker said.
“She’s always had a really relaxed attitude and got back in her races and run on.
“It’s always been our aim to go to the Oaks this preparation.”
Blake Shinn has ridden Aliyana Tilde for her two most recent runs which also included a close third in the Group 3 Keith F Nolan Classic over the mile at Kembla Grange, and retains the mount on Saturday.
The other big name Australian Oaks player this year is Roger James’ up-and-coming New Zealand visitor Full Of Spirit.
Saturday is the Flying Spur’s filly’s second run down under after her successful Australian debut last Saturday to win the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).
James McDonald rides her again this weekend, Full Of Spirit drawn in barrier three.
Australia’s and the Races.com.au team’s favourite online bookie bookmaker.com.au are set to release their updated Australian Oaks odds shortly.
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