Warwick Farm trainer Gary Portelli wasn't too upset to hear that superstar colts Pierro and All Too Hard will not take on Rebel Dane on his home turf in the Randwick Guineas on Saturday.
"It would have been a promoter's dream [to have Pierro and All Too Hard clash] but when you have one as good as Rebel Dane, it's a bit of a nightmare," Portelli said. "Let's just say I'm happy to have my bloke there and ready to go."
All Too Hard has been dominant in Melbourne, beating the older horses in the Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes. A cold, which caused him to miss the Australian Guineas, will keep the $25 million colt's Sydney campaign on ice for at least another week.
"He is still in Melbourne and we haven't decided where his next run will be yet," co-trainer Michael Hawkes said on Sunday.
Gai Waterhouse will send Pierro around in the Canterbury Stakes at Rosehill on March 23, where he will clash with star stablemate More Joyous.
"I will still nominate Proisir in the Guineas and he will be hard to beat," Waterhouse said.
It's A Dundeel, who charged home for fourth in the Hobartville Stakes, will continue his path to the Australian Derby through the Guineas, while Darley will start Tatra, Solemn and Proverb.
Rebel Dane has been the subject of offers from Asia since his first win but will chase the biggest win for Portelli as a trainer in the Guineas. The colt had won four on end before just failing to gun down Pierro in the Hobartville.
"He is not overly big. We weighed him the other day and he was 457 kilograms, which means he had put on a couple of kilos since the Hobartville," Portelli said. "The size doesn't really matter, it is the engine and what they have inside that counts.
"He has shown he has had a big engine from his first start and we have been fielding offers from Hong Kong after every run. They have been getting bigger but you only get one chance to race a horse like him and to win races like the Guineas."
The Guineas still has a lot of depth to the form. The next four home behind Pierro in the Hobartville will show off the strength of this season's three-year-old class. However, things have fallen into place for Portelli as the Guineas is at Warwick Farm.
"There is a benefit of the race being on the track where he does all his work - he just knows the place,'' he said.
Peter Snowden said racing on familiar territory would also help Darley's trio.
"You have to say the Waterhouse horses go better at Randwick and [Chris] Waller's seem to go better at Rosehill," he said. "When you don't have to travel, it makes it easier and more comfortable for any horse."