HORSE RACINGKerry Parker will roll the dice with not one but two Melbourne Cup entries when first nominations for the great race are taken today.
While three-time Group 1 placegetter Aliyana Tilde's nomination was a given, the Kembla Grange-based Parker is also leaning towards pitching up for grinding stayer Planet Purple.
The seven-year-old has won only a tick under $150,000 in career prize money and has been entered for a Benchmark 80 Handicap (2000m) at Randwick this Saturday.
Aliyana Tilde is set to resume in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes over 1600m on the same card.
"You throw the nom in for Planet Purple because if he's going good and he runs a cracking race and gets into The Metrop, you can always go down for the Lexus [Stakes]," Parker said.
Much interest will surround Aliyana Tilde's return after running a gallant third behind Mourayan in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) last start back in April.
She had earlier chased home Mosheen and Streama for Group 1 placings in her three-year-old season and, after failing to come up last spring, is being geared towards a possible Caulfield Cup start this campaign.
Parker will help to plot the downfall of the all-powerful Chris Waller stable, which boasts half of the 16 nominations for the Chelmsford Stakes.
"She seems to be going along well," Parker said of Aliyana Tilde.
"Her work has been good and she's been working fine. She usually takes a couple of runs because she's not a real flash worker. She needs a race or two to tighten her up, but she's come back a racehorse and she knows what she's doing."