Australian racing's pin-up girl Winx retains a stranglehold on betting for the $3 million Doncaster Mile - and bookmakers aren't likely to significantly budge on her odds-on price either - despite drawing wide for the feature on the opening day of The Championships.
Chasing a ninth straight win spanning back to May last year and fourth straight Doncaster triumph for trainer Chris Waller, Winx came up with barrier 11 in a field of 15 for the famous Randwick mile on Saturday.
It did little to shake up betting charts with Sydney's biggest drawcard only easing slightly from $1.80 to $1.85 with Ladbrokes for the fifth major of the Australian turf.
"I reckon she will touch $2 again and I still can't work out how she started that price in the George Ryder," Ladbrokes' Paul Di Cioccio said.
"Perhaps the only horse that can trouble her is Happy Clapper as he is beautifully weighted and he's ticking over nicely, but can he really beat Winx?
"There has been a little bit of money for Turn Me Loose ($17) since the barrier draw and I'm not surprised to see a bit of support for Bow Creek ($13) as well."
Winx's main rivals appeared to fare much better at the barrier draw with stablemate and defending Doncaster champion Kermadec (barrier three), lightweight hope Happy Clapper (eight) and Godolphin import Bow Creek (four) all appearing to get cosy runs from their respective alleys.
And part-owner Debbie Kepitis, who races Winx alongside Magic Bloodstock's Peter Tighe and Richard Treweeke, was all too aware of the risk Waller is taking running the mare under handicap conditions before a projected tilt at the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes seven days later.
"It doesn't get any easier," Kepitis said. "This is a big test for her. Chris has got an affinity with the Doncaster and he chose to put her in and we decided to follow his genius.
"I hope she doesn't find trouble in this because that would be very hard to overcome with this field. This is a real test for her and hopefully she jumps fine."
Waller's other hope Good Project, also a group 1 winner, will launch from barrier seven under Craig Newitt.
Bow Creek could provide the X-factor in the race having won the Peter Young Stakes in slashing fashion last month.
"It's a great barrier for him," Godolphin's assistant trainer Darren Beadman said. "He's done well since he's come up to Sydney from Melbourne and we couldn't be happier with him."
Randwick was rated a soft (7) on Tuesday afternoon, but a clearing forecast for the rest of the week is expected to have the track significantly upgraded by race time on Saturday.
This article was written by Adam Pengilly from Sydney Morning Herald and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.