Victorian racing officials are targeting Sydney stables to try to boost NSW interest in Melbourne's feature races.
Representatives from the Melbourne Racing Club have been in Sydney canvassing leading trainers and drumming up interest in its premier two-year-old race, ahead of next week's deadline to nominate for the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.
"We're really keen to get more NSW flavour into the Blue Diamond to nationalise the race," MRC media manager Jake Norton said.
The Victorians are also making a play for some of Sydney's biggest trainers to focus their best gallopers almost exclusively on the Melbourne spring carnival.
The recent upgrade of the Memsie Stakes to Group One status has been a cornerstone of the push to attract the Sydney's best south.
Norton says the Gai Waterhouse-trained Melbourne Cup placegetter Fiorente is among those horses likely to bypass the Sydney spring.
"We're finding more and more Sydney-based stables are setting their horses for Melbourne-based campaigns this spring," Norton said.
"Gai Waterhouse is particularly keen to win the Melbourne Cup and she's made the decision this year to campaign a lot of her horses only in Melbourne, which traditionally she hasn't done.
"A horse like Fiorente is going to be aimed at the Memsie."
The rising star of Sydney's training ranks, Bjorn Baker, is also keen to have a spring presence in Melbourne, according to Norton.