Cambridge trainer Roger James has abandoned plans to campaign a team of horses in Queensland this winter but he still has his sights set on further Australian glory this season.
James has taken a prudent approach with promising three-year-olds Lady Cumquat, Delago's Secret and Full Count, opted to spell all three immediately.
He believed the trio were coming to the end of their preparations, rather than still improving as they needed to be in order to be competitive in Gr. 1 races in Brisbane.
However, emerging filly Katie's Cove will still head across the Tasman to contest Saturday's Gr. 3 A$150,000 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
Sydney-based Kiwi rider Jason Collett has been engaged to ride from barrier 12.
Zabeel filly Katie's Cove has won her last two starts, at Matamata and Avondale last Friday, and has yet to finish worse than fourth in five starts.
"She deserves the opportunity," James said.
"If she can measure up on Saturday, there's the Scone Guineas in a couple of weeks that is worth $400,000 or else she could go to Queensland for the Doomben Roses the same day of a shorter three-year-old race at Doomben.
"If she doesn't measure up, she can come home on Monday. It's up to her really to determine her future."
James was philosophical about missing the Brisbane carnival with his other three-year-olds.
"You win Derbys with horses in absolute peak form. They've got to be at the top of their game over there," James said.
"It's hard late in the season. I've done it successfully before but Delago's Secret and Full Count both had pretty hard runs on Saturday and they've felt their runs.
"I had a look at them this week and thought it would be asking too much of them. If you treat those potential stayers with patience they will be there for you as four and five-year-olds."
James said Lady Cumquat had tied up in training since returning from her third placing in this month's Gr. 3 Adrian Knox Stakes in Sydney and would benefit from a winter break.
- Aidan Rodley/NZ Racing Desk