Dream About Me is going to have to live up to her champion billing to defend her Jewels title after being handed a horror draw.
The three-year-old superstar was labelled a champion by trainer Mark Purdon after completing the Nevele R Final-NZ Oaks double at Addington last Saturday, performances which saw her close into $1.35 for her division of the Jewels at Cambridge next Saturday.
But that quickly became $1.95 in final field betting after she drew one on the second line over the mile, a bad marble made even worse by her stablemates and main rivals Golden Goddess (barrier three) and Piccadilly Princess (two) drawing to control the race.
Dream About Me wasn't the only big name to draw poorly for next Saturday's $1.2 million meeting, with Monbet, Spanish Armada and the heavily-backed Titan Banner all coming with tough draws as did the dominant freshman boys.
Monbet is still red hot for the four-year-old trot even from the outside of the front line, but the horse who stunned him in last year's Jewels, Sunny Ruby, looks ideally placed at barrier two.
Spanish Armada has won every feature juvenile fillies pace so far but will need to come from the second line to complete a clean sweep, a task made potentially trickier by her arch rival Delightful Memphis drawing the front line, albeit wide.
Remarkably, Spanish Armada didn't budge from her pre-draw quote of $1.45, meaning the $4.50 for Delightful Memphis looks some of the best overs for the day.
Titan Banner has been relentless in two starts since changing stables and has been backed in from $21 to $2.40 but drifted to $2.70 after drawing the outside of the front line in the four-year-old male pace. Making that twice as bad is the fact that Taylor Mile and Messenger winner Field Marshal secured the ace, with trainer Tim Butt adamant he will lead from there in the hands of Dexter Dunn.
Others facing interesting challenges are star juvenile pacers More The Better and Pacing Major, who have drawn the second line, with whoever has the better luck early and is able to get forward first the one to beat.
But greatly improved juvenile trotter Enghien is now red hot for his $100,000 race as he drew barrier three, inside key rivals Habibi Inta and Custodian.
The markets for the Jewels will close again this morning while several big names contest workouts at Pukekohe and Cambridge before re-opening later today.