Lion Tamer will miss the Champagne Stakes in Sydney on Saturday.
Trainer Murray Baker gave serious consideration to sending the youngster across the Tasman but abandoned the trip yesterday.
Baker had been leaning towards a run but decided that it would asking too much of the horse to back up in Group I company in Sydney.
"I thought hard about it but changed my mind," Baker said. "He has bounced through the race [at Ellerslie last weekend] and is fit and well. But he would need everything going for him and we will wait for another day."
The Champagne Stakes had always been on the horizon for Lion Tamer but the plans were put on hold after he failed in the Manawatu Sires' Produce.
He showed that was a temporary lapse when winning the listed Champagne Stakes at Ellerslie and will now be spelled.
However, Baker hopes that the Storming Home colt can justify a trip to the Melbourne spring carnival and he will be nominated for the Victoria Derby.
"We think he's more of a staying horse and he's got that sprint at the end," Baker said. "He's not a bad horse and I would like to think he can get to Australia in the spring."
Lion Tamer is one of only two runners from Storming Home's sole southern hemisphere crop.
Storming Home, a son of Machiavellian, was a Group I winner in both England and North America. He stood one season at Stoney Bridge, which produced just 34 live foals.
He began his stud career in England, where he has been the sire of a Group II winner, but is now stands in Japan.
Lion Tamer is raced by Tauranga owner Phil Bayly whose familiar red and black colours will still be carried at Randwick on Saturday, by Sydney Cup contender Harris Tweed.
Harris Tweed, a close relation to Lion Tamer, finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup, which represents strong form for a Sydney Cup.
He has performed creditably in four starts in a new campaign and hit the line well over 2600m, behind Sydney Cup rival Jessicabel, at his last start.
"We are very happy with him," Baker said. "It was a nice run last start and he's looking like a two miler."
The Sydney Cup has not been an easy target for New Zealand stayers in recent year and only one - Honor Babe in 2003 – has been successful since Baker and Bayly combined to win the race with Eagle Eye in 1992.
New Zealand stables will have two runners this year, with Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield engaged for Booming.
Booming is on the minimum, at 52kg, and Schofield gained the mount after Glen Boss, who has ridden the horse at his last two starts, decided to ride in Melbourne on Saturday.
Zabeel gelding Precedence is a $7 Sydney Cup favourite with TAB Sportsbet in Australia. BMW winner Littorio, the 2008 Sydney Cup winner No Wine No Song and Auckland Cup winner Zavite share the second line at $8.
Jessicabeel, a Zabeel mare, is at $9 with Harris Tweed and Moatize at $10.
New Zealand stables will also be well represented in the Group I Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, through Vosne Romanee and three-year-old Monaco Consul.
Vosne Romanee, a stablemate of Booming, is unbeaten from two starts on right-handed tracks, both at Group I level, while Monaco Consul has had two Group I wins and a Group I placing from three starts in Australia.
No three-year-old has won the Queen Elizabeth since Intergaze in 1997 but Metal Bender ran second last year and Nom du Jeu was runner-up the previous year.
- © Fairfax NZ News