Any hope of Hay List defending his Newmarket Handicap win evaporated when trainer John McNair was told he would have to carry 59.5 kilograms in the famous sprint.
"I wasn't happy when he had 58-1/2 last year so with 59-1/2 he's no hope in the wide world," McNair told AAP.
Just where and when the injury-plagued Hay List does make his return is not an easy decision for the trainer.
His preferred autumn target is the TJ Smith on April 13 at Randwick but a lack of a suitable weight-for-age lead-up race in Sydney could mean a change of plan.
"He is doing well and Glyn Schofield will probably come up and ride him in the next ten to fourteen days," McNair said.
"I'd like to give him a barrier trial before he races but where that will be is also a problem.
"I don't want to trial him on a course where he has to pull up on a crossing which rules a few out.
"If needs be we can organise our own trial on my track up here.
"The challenge Stakes is the only weight-for-age race in Sydney that is suitable but it's four weeks before the TJ.
"I'll have a look at Brisbane and Melbourne but he needs to run at weight-for-age.
"It's all about protecting the horse."
McNair has a property at Somersby near Gosford where Hay List has been recuperating from a leg injury as his trainer also heals from back and leg injuries received when a horse fell on him in September last year.
Hay List injured his leg when he slipped as he was getting up following an operation for colic. He also has recurring problems with a hoof.
"He has had the problem with his foot again but that's normal," McNair said.
While he thinks weight would stop Hay List in the Newmarket, he doesn't think 61kg would stop Black Caviar.
"I wouldn't say she couldn't win with that," he said.