Brisbane has become the offshore destination of choice for star Wanganui sprinter Start Wondering.
The Queensland winter carnival has become the top priority after connections decided against setting the six-year-old for the Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on May 7.
"He definitely won't be going to Hong Kong. Getting there was fine but getting him home wasn't so great," said J.J. Rayner, who trains Start Wondering with her father Evan.
"He would be away for a month and a half and he could be there on his own in quarantine if no Australian horses go.
"We decided that it wasn't in the horse's best interest so at this stage we will be looking at Brisbane.
"The BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000 are very good options and we could also be looking at the Stradbroke." Start Wondering established himself as New Zealand's premier short course performer with his summer campaign netting him group one victories in the Sistema Stakes and the NRM Sprint, as well as the listed Legacy Lodge Sprint.
He was also runner-up in the group one Telegraph and then stepped up to a mile to finish second in the group one Haunui Farm WFA Classic.
Meanwhile, stable stalwart Taurus will open another domestic campaign in the Listed NZ Bloodstock Finance Sprint at Hastings on Saturday.
"He's had a couple of jump-outs and gone nicely," Rayner said.
Taurus is the winner of 10 races, including the Ag Challenge Stakes, and he also has no fewer than nine black type placings, two of them in the group three Winter Cup at Riccarton.
- NZ Racing Desk