The weight placed on premier Australian form versus winning at home will decide thoroughbred racing's Horse of the Year title.
The galloping code has named its finalists for the flat categories at HOTY which will be held in Hamilton on September 12 and they feature some tasty match-ups.
Many of the code's biggest names go head-to-head for the only time in the age group and distance divisions before the overall Horse of the Year is decided from votes by a NZ Thoroughbred Racing-selected panel.
Those panellists face having to choose between the emotion of local victories versus the televised experience of New Zealand superstars winning in Australia.
The most obvious of those clashes is between stablemates Probabeel, Melody Belle and Avantage in the sprinter-miler division (up to and including 1600m), while that same trio and the likes of Aegon and Rocket Spade probably make up the list of genuine contenders for the overall Horse of the Year title.
As wonderful as Melody Belle was up to 1600m in limited attempts at home, winning the Windsor Park Plate and Thorndon Mile, Avantage was remarkable, winning the Railway, Telegraph, BCD Sprint, Haunui Stud Stakes and Thoroughbred Breeders (all Group 1 events).
But it was Probabeel who was New Zealand's biggest star this season, winning one of Australia's great mile races in the Epsom at Randwick and the star-studded Futurity in Melbourne, as well as two other group races.
The reality is even the best version of Melody Belle or Avantage wouldn't have won those two Aussie Group 1s.
So that sprinting division will come down to the domination at home versus just how hard it has become for New Zealand-trained horses to win open-age Group 1s in Australia.
The 1601m to 2200m award is Melody Belle's after she won the Livamol and Bonecrusher NZ Stakes, while the importance of Australian racing at the highest level will again be tested in the staying division.
Ocean Billy, Waisake and Savy Yong Blonk were all outstanding at home, but The Chosen One, who won only one relatively minor race all season, ran third in a Caulfield Cup and was the first Australasian horse home when fourth in the Melbourne Cup, which is about as serious as it gets.
The juvenile division brings together the two Te Akau stablemates who dominated that age group, and as good as On The Bubbles was winning the Karaka Million and Sires' Produce, Sword Of State beat him the only two times they met in the Sistema Stakes (Group 1) and Waikato Stud Slipper, so deserves the top freshman honour.
Aegon's win in the Hobartville at Group 2 in Sydney tagged on to stunning performances in the Hawke's Bay and 2000 Guineas, as well as the Karaka Classic Mile, maybe the domestic race of the year, makes him favourite for the 3-year-old award.