It hasn't taken long for large cracks to appear in the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC), despite the fact it might be regarded as some sort of success at this stage. Hong Kong sprinter Cape Of Good Hope made the series a winner by travelling the globe to participate in the first year and Australia's Takeover Target is carrying the concept alone this time around. But last week's unilateral announcement in Australia that the Newmarket Handicap is to replace the Australia Stakes could see the series fall apart just as quickly as it rose up. This first appeared as a newspaper article, which didn't necessarily make it the truth, but it has since been posted as an official announcement by the body which administers horse racing in the state of Victoria so we have to assume it is, in fact, a done deal. And we have to assume that somehow Hong Kong, a co-participant in the GSC, was left out of the loop since there was no announcement here and since the programming of the Australian GSC legs will effectively rule any Hong Kong horse out of the running for the 2007 million-dollar bonus. To win that, a horse must win three Group One legs of the series and participate in all four countries which host series legs, but the Australian races are now programmed for February 3 - the day before the Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin - and the Newmarket six days after the Chairman's Sprint Prize. The chances of the Newmarket or Lightning Stakes in Melbourne getting a runner from Japan or Europe are that close to zero it hardly matters. And, given that the GSC will be the property of Australian or Hong Kong sprinters every year, to have Hong Kong's potential for participation eliminated must degrade the series. There has been a threat that the Jockey Club would withdraw the Hong Kong Sprint from the GSC in response to the inclusion of the Newmarket, and there must be a serious loss of face if that doesn't happen - but one more attempt at a worthwhile international competition bites the dust if it does. Just imagine if the series was unsuccessful.