New Zealand's chances of securing more Miracle Mile invitations have been dealt a blow.
And it could mean superstars like Smolda and Have Faith In Me have to rely on reputation to make the A$750,000 glamour sprint in Sydney on Saturday week.
Kiwi champion Lazarus is already in the Mile and will be joined by the first two home in two A$100,000 preludes at Menangle this Saturday.
Normally pacers of the calibre of Smolda and Have Faith In Me would be considered good things to finish top two but both have drawn wide in races set to be dominated by on-speed favourites in Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay.
That suggests both Have Faith In Me, who is rated unruly in his prelude against Lennytheshark, and Smolda, who has drawn barrier seven against Hectorjayjay, will need to produce huge efforts to finish top two and gain the automatic Miracle Mile entry.
If they don't achieve that third placings or maybe even a fourth could still get them in, especially as the defending Mile champion (Have Faith In Me) and Inter Dominion winner (Smolda) adds extra appeal to the NSWHRC directors who issue the invitations.
But with mile racing at Menangle so brutal and plenty of depth in the fields, the Kiwis along with the Barry Purdon-trained Hug The Wind still have plenty of work to do to get their invites on Saturday night.
New Zealand-trained pacers are set to dominate other preludes on the night, with three-year-old sensation Ultimate Machete opening a $1.04 favourite to win his heat of the NSW Derby, his Australian debut.
Vincent is $1.15 for his heat while Motu Meteor is only second favourite in the opening Derby heat as he has drawn outside his Victoria Derby conqueror Our Little General.
Kiwi filly Partyon looks set to remain unbeaten as a $1.55 favourite in the last heat of the NSW Oaks.
Meanwhile, open class racing makes a long-awaited return to Addington on Friday night, with Locharburn, Christen Me, Mossdale Conner and Classic Brigade clashing in the Summer Cup.
Marcoola returns after his rollercoaster northern campaign to take on Master Lavros in the trotting free-for-all and Delightful Memphis has the better of the draws over Spanish Armada in the $150,000 Sales Series Pace, which has drawn a disappointing five starters.