Sydney's $10million The Everest was supposed to be an irresistible carrot for the connections of Australia's best sprinters, but for some owners the mammoth prize pool isn't the be all and end all.
Bruno Micalizzi, owner of 2016 G1 Darley Classic winner and Moonee Valley 1200m track record holder Malaguerra, has all but ruled out an Everest campaign, preferring instead to aim for back to back Darley Classic wins.
"He's just not interested in the race," said Malaguerra's trainer Peter Gelagotis in reference to Micalizzi's decision.
"We can let all those horses go and beat each other up for big money and then be waiting for them fresh at Flemington where we know our bloke goes so well.
"Good on Racing New South Wales for having a go and putting it on, it's great thinking, but it's not the race for us this spring."
Malaguerra's 2017 summer campaign started at the top of a peak but descended quickly into a muddy swamp, quite literally.
After a track record breaking win in the G2 Australia Stakes the horse flopped in the G1 Orr Stakes at Caulfield and was freshened for the T.J Smith Stakes in Sydney on a heavy Randwick deck.
"He just didn't handle the back up to Caulfield, he was flat," said Gelagotis.
"Look, I'm still spewing about the T.J because the horse was absolutely flying. We didn't know he would...