One of the hottest favourites for the Harness Jewels is facing an increasingly difficult task to even make the $1.2 million day.

Defending champion Piccadilly Princess will have to place at least once, maybe twice, against some of New Zealand's best pacers in the next 10 days to sneak into the 4-year-old Diamond at Ashburton on June 3.

And while those around her on the leaderboard can aim for easy money in lower grade races, Piccadilly Princess has to take on the likes of Heaven Rocks and Franco Nelson to try and qualify.

The unusual situation developed because last season's 3-year-old filly winner has raced mainly in Australia this season, where she won in three states including the group one Ladyship Mile at Menangle.


But Australian earnings don't count toward Jewels qualification, which is based solely on New Zealand stake money won.

Piccadilly Princess has only one second in five starts in New Zealand this season because all her racing has been at the elite level and with the Jewels deadline 12 days away, she still needs at least another $1000 in earnings to qualify, but that number could easily change as those above her on the table could also win more.

The real problem for Piccadilly Princess is to earn any money she needs at least a top three placings, preferably two, at the next two Addington premier meetings and that means taking on potentially Heaven Rocks, Franco Nelson and Classie Brigade this Friday.

And to make matters worse, because her rating is so high, under the preferential barrier draw conditions of Friday's 1950m mobile event, Piccadilly Princess has to draw outside her open class male rivals.

If she can't secure at least $2000 in stake money this week, Piccadilly Princess has the $20,000 Winter Cup on Friday week but that will mean racing stablemate Waikiki Beach.

A radical plan could even see trainer Mark Purdon nominate her for a standing start race at Oamaru on Sunday week, the last day for Jewels qualifying, to give her a last-ditch shot at making the $150,000 race.

If Piccadilly Princess fails to make the Jewels the already jumbled market will go into complete chaos, after opening favourite Dream About Me was forced out by injury.

Golden Goddess is the second favourite but races in Melbourne the next two weeks before a decision is made on whether she returns for the Jewels. But her chances of returning would improve if Piccadilly Princess doesn't make the cut.

Next in the market is Arden's Choice, who is struggling for her best form but would be lengths better than the remaining mares should the two favourites pull out.

Friday's Addington meeting hosts the $200,000 Sales Series Pace for juvenile males and a rare clash between Partyon and Spanish Armada in the Nevele R Fillies Final.