John Moore is down to just one representative at the Dubai World Cup at the end of the month, with the owner of Gold Cup winner Military Attack concentrating on the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup at home.
Moore said yesterday he had received Dubai invitations for only Military Attack and sprinter Frederick Engels; Frederick Engels is still on course for the Golden Shaheen but Steven Lo Kit-sing vetoed the trip for Military Attack.
"Barring anything unforeseen, Frederick Engels will go for that race - I'm keen to get him on to the Tapeta because I think it will really suit him," Moore said. "But Military Attack stays home and so does Mr Lo's other horse, Xtension, who wasn't invited to Dubai and he'll target the Champions Mile again."
With Caspar Fownes' decision to stay home with Lucky Nine, the Hong Kong team is down to Frederick Engels and Eagle Regiment (Al Quoz Sprint).
Meanwhile, trainer Andreas Schutz is taking the direct approach to leapfrogging the log jam forming at the entrance to the BMW Hong Kong Derby on March 17.
Eleven Derby entrants rated 87 and above might reasonably expect to be included when the field is announced next week, but another 10 Derby entries are stacked up on ratings of 85 and 86, with Garlic Boy the only one among them announced as a non-runner.
Schutz's impressive recent Class Three winner, Genki Twins, sits behind that group on 83, but lines up in the last race today - the final chance to impress for Derby horses - against Akeed Mofeed, nominal favourite for the classic.
Even an honourable defeat might be enough to get him into the Derby, but Schutz wants the four-year-old to gain his place on his own merits.
"I haven't pushed his case with club - I'll wait to see how he goes and if he can get himself there he'll run, otherwise I'll discuss it with the owner," Schutz said. "He's really come to himself now these last four to six weeks and, if he can't give Akeed Mofeed a run for his money here, getting this weight off him, then maybe we'd think about a different path.
"But he was bought as a Derby horse and, if he runs out the 1,800m well, he deserves to run. I'm sure he's going to be a good horse, it's just a case of whether he's ready right now.
"He ran a Class One time over 1,600m last time, carrying 133 pounds and now he has to do it over 200m further, which would have worried me before but now he's relaxed and settling," Schutz added. "The way he finished last time I'm confident he'll run out the extra distance."