The hunt for the new expatriate trainer is said to have hit more hurdles than most of the Grand National field combined, with the Jockey Club finding possibles thin on the ground and largely unsuitable. Despite the more positive contributions made by new expatriate trainers from other regions in recent years, there is a view that the club wants more of a northern hemisphere influence, and to that end the search has been centred on Europe and Britain. This column believes there are two northern hemisphere trainers on the short list but, due to the lack of quality candidates, two Australian trainers are also being considered to fill the vacancy that will be left by the departure of another Australian, David Hayes, at the end of the season. One of them is a trainer with international Group One experience, the other is Sydney's John O'Shea, who continues to figure prominently in the names of Australians keen to base themselves in Hong Kong. The announcement of new licensees for next season will take place the week after the QEII Cup, with the Licensing Committee due to meet on May 1.