Cuban Star heads to big smoke

HORSE RACING

Kerry Parker is prepared to roll the dice with Australian Oaks hopeful Cuban Star - who he says "is an entirely different horse altogether" to his previous three-year-old fillies' classic runner-up Aliyana Tilde.

The Kembla Grange trainer has indicated a preference for running Cuban Star in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) if she can make the field, skipping an easier Class 2 Handicap at home on Saturday.

It's intended to be the final Oaks tune-up for Cuban Star, who made a mess of a Nowra field three starts ago to break her maiden.

But just don't go looking for comparisons to Parker's Oaks runner-up of a couple of years ago, Aliyana Tilde, which gave Streama a scare in the staying test.

"This filly is one paced and you let go of her head and she doesn't go any quicker," Parker said. "Aliyana [Tilde] had a bit of race sense and was a different horse altogether.

"This filly is entirely a grinder that will run the journey and it's just a matter of how quick. Our main aim is to try to get her into that Oaks field over 2400 metres against her own age and sex.

"She might not have the class of other, but she'll run the 2400 metres. That's been her aim since her first start."

Cuban Star is yet another feather in the cap of Parker, who's forged a reputation for scouting cheap yearlings capable of running a trip.

He bid just $16,000 to take home Cuban Star from the Inglis Classic Sales a couple of years ago with the help of client Stuart Ayres.

"We were shopping at the Classic sales two years ago looking for a cheap one that might get over ground and found one," Parker said.

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