Winx was not the top-rated horse out of the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate, according to Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.

That anomaly goes some way to indicating the intricacies of ratings and how they are undertaken, but Carpenter revealed Humidor - by measure of carrying 2kg more than Winx, and his beaten margin officially only being a long neck - was in fact rated higher than the champion mare on his performance in the weight-for-age feature.

"Everyone continues to be focused and intrigued by the ratings," Carpenter told Racing.com.

"To explain it, Humidor gave Winx 2kg on Saturday, and the margin was only half a length [officially a 'long neck'], which, at 2000m, is one rating point.

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"So, really, Humidor comes out of this Cox Plate with a higher rating on the day than Winx did. 'For me, he ran 122 when he won the Makybe Diva. He's back to that sort of form.

"So if he's run to 122, she had 2kg less - I think you can call the margin two lengths in the end, because Hughie [Bowman] was soft on her - so she's mathematically run to 120, so it hasn't surpassed her previous best of 132."

Carpenter is firm in his view that Winx is the world's best racehorse despite her benchmark still sitting second to Arrogate, and as he suggested it was a virtual two-length win, that equated to a softer victory than was witnessed.

"It was good that Humidor gave her a real contest. I think at the 600m, I thought she was going to win by six, and I thought at the 150m mark, Humidor was going to get past her.

"But again, she found plenty in the last 100m and she was a pretty soft winner."

And in regards to the year-old debate about who is better, Winx or Arrogate, Carpenter said officially the ratings will remain, unless a drastic decision is made in regards to the American-trained colt's benchmark.

"Arrogate's established at 134 currently from the Dubai World Cup victory," Carpenter said.

"She's 132 earlier in the year from the Chipping Norton, winning that by a big margin. In the Turnbull, she's run a near-132 mark, probably 130.

"It's going to be difficult to get her beyond that mark."

Meanwhile, just 36 horses remain in the hunt for the Melbourne Cup after a further 19 dropped out of contention at the second-acceptance stage yesterday.

Connections of contenders were asked to pay the A$4620 ($5181) fee to keep their horse in next Tuesday's A$6.2 million race by the 10am deadline and those connections will need to find a further A$49,500 on Saturday for their horse to make the field at the close of final acceptances at 4.30pm.

The Herbert Power Stakes runner-up Wall Of Fire now looks certain to make the final field as he moved to 24th in order with only the winner of Saturday's Lexus Stakes able to oust him if there are no further withdrawals by Saturday evening.

The eight-year-old Thomas Hobson from the Willie Mullins yard moved to within sight of a Cup start alongside his nine-year-old stable mate Wicklow Brave, with Thomas Hobson now slotting in at 26th in the order.

Of the top 24 qualified horses, 11 are trained overseas. Originally, 140 horses were entered for this year's Melbourne Cup in late August.