New Zealand racing's frustrating autumn in Australia continued yesterday but there was enough to suggest there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Kiwi horses have had one of their leanest autumns in terms of winners at the major Australian carnivals, with Quick Thinker's victory in the Chairman's in Sydney the only major New Zealand-trained success.
It was more of the same yesterday as Kiwi horses in three states earned decent stakes for their efforts but ultimately didn't have to detour to the winner's circle on their way back to the stables.
The closest was Llanacord, who was second in the A$152,000 Fillies Classic at Morphettville in Adelaide.
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This season's Couplands Mile winner Hypnos carried on his good form with a close third in a A$135,000 Handicap at Flemington.
The unluckiest of the Kiwis and the one with possibly the most upside over the winter carnivals is Not An Option, who was a run of the race fourth in the A$125,000 Three-Year-Old Plate at Doomben in Brisbane.
The Cambridge colt lost almost any winning chance when slow out in the 1350m event but stormed home in the straight for fourth, finishing just over a length from the winner, suggesting on a drier track and with a better beginning, he can win a good race at the carnival.
The feature of the Brisbane meeting, the Doomben 10,000, went to enormously-improved sprinter Eduardo.
The Queensland carnival continues next Saturday with Melody Belle to contest the last race of her storied career in the Doomben Cup and there is still some New Zealand equine ammunition to be fired at targets such as the Oaks, Derby and Tatts Tiara.
Melody Belle's little half-brother Tutukaka is rated an each-way chance in race five at the Sunshine Coast today (4.50pm) for which he was backed in from $6 to $5 yesterday.