CONNECTIONS of Tasmania's star three-year-old filly Barynya have turned down an exclusive invitation to contest a $150,000 group 1 race in New Zealand.
Karoola trainer Dick Eaves and owners Lloyd and Judy Whish-Wilson received the offer after Barynya won the $150,000 Victoria Oaks on May 2.
But it didn't come until after the filly had already returned home - complicating any travel arrangements.
``If we had been notified while we were still in Melbourne, we could have kept her there and flown direct to New Zealand,'' Eaves said.
``But, because she was back in Tasmania, it would have meant another boat trip across Bass Strait then a long flight.
``We had enough trouble getting her across on the boat last time - so it was just too much to ask of her.''
The New Zealand race, known as the 3YO Diamond, is part of the Harness Jewels series which comprises nine group 1 events, all run at Cambridge on May 31.
Only one horse from Australia is invited to contest each race and, if they don't accept, there is no replacement.
Eaves said Barynya would be kept for rich feature races coming up in Victoria over the next three months.
``She is having an easy time at the moment before heading back over for a heat of the Victorian Sires Stake at Geelong on June 17,'' the trainer said.
``That will lead into the Breeders Crown series (in July-August).
``We won't be coming home in between those races so I'll probably take another couple of horses with me.''
Barynya has won seven of her nine starts since resuming from a spell in mid-January and Eaves sees no reason why she can't hold that form.
``As long as we keep her fresh and keen, she'll keep racing good,'' the trainer said.