The team behind Melody Belle have to decide whether they want to target the Aussies or a New Zealand racing icon. Or both.
The glamour mare has given herself options on both sides of the Tasman by walloping our best weight-for-age gallopers in the $250,000 Livamol at Hastings on Saturday, coming from near last even though the pace was against back runners.
"Troy (Harris) said she nearly fell asleep in the gates and that is why she was slow out," laughed trainer Jamie Richards. "But it all worked out well. She is flying."
So much so Richards and the Fortuna Syndicate which own the 6-year-old need to decide whether they return to Australia this spring, even though she failed there just two months ago.
Melody Belle returned home with her tail between her legs after two substandard Sydney runs to start her spring but has looked right back in the zone here, with Saturday's win her 12th at Group 1 level. That puts her just one behind New Zealand racing's greatest heroine Sunline and the way she won on Saturday, if Melody Belle stays in New Zealand and races up to that form she would end the season as our greatest Group 1 winner.
But that would be picking off mainly $200,000 races whereas back in Australia she could have A$1 million or even richer targets.
"We have a lot to think about because she has all those options," says Richards.
"I haven't given up on her as an Aussie horse because she was probably not in the ideal races earlier in the spring in Sydney."
Richards will also have to put this thinking cap on with Avantage, who has finished second to Melody Belle in both Group 1s at Hastings over the last fortnight. "She has more distance options," he offers.
"She won the Telegraph last season and then at 2000m at Group 1 level less than two months later.
"So she can spell now and we can have a think about her."
Richards has Probabeel in Saturday's A$5m Cox Plate in Melbourne and says while he would love to be there he is also kind of glad he can't go. "I don't want to change anything with her at the moment," he smiles.
"She won an Epsom last start without me there and obviously because of the travel restrictions I haven't seen her all spring."
Probabeel travelled south to Melbourne over the weekend where she will be stabled at Flemington but have a familiarisation gallop at The Valley on Tuesday.