The Auckland Inter Dominion has received a timely boost after a record run Victoria Cup.
Because the first three home as well as the horse who made the A$250,000 classic at Melton on Saturday night are all likely to come to Auckland for the series which starts in late November.
Bling It On, having only his second start back after coming out of stud retirement, paced a remarkable 1:51.5 mile rate for the 2240m to beat Colt Thirty One and Cruz Bromac, with all three likely to come to the Inters in Auckland.
They are almost certain to be joined by San Carlo, who sat parked and forced the hot pace until fading late, and he is already confirmed for the New Zealand Cup on November 12.
The looming possibility of a stronger than originally expected Australian pacing presence at the Interdoms will bring the series alive, especially at a time when the locals headed by Spankem are not as scary as some recent open class crops.
And while Bling It On is now a nine-year-old he has shown right from when he won the Breeders Crown at two and the Hunter Cup five years later he can beat the best New Zealand has to offer so he offers some real Australian resistance to the threatened All Stars domination of the Interdoms.
Chase Auckland showed great toughness to win the latest stop on the road to the NZ Cup when he overcame sitting parked for the 1200m in yesterday's Methven Cup.
He produced a huge form turnaround after dropping out in his previous start at Addington and just as importantly his standing start manners were better than when he galloped away in his previous two runs.
Ashley Locaz was a solid but fairly beaten second ahead of Smoken By and Gran Chico, with resuming New Zealand Cup winner Thefixer sound in fifth but short of race fitness as his connections had expected.
There is the possibility of another open class pacing race being added to the Addington programme this Friday but if that doesn't get the numerical support needed the next major NZ Cup lead-up will be at Ashburton on Labour Day.