The man set to dominate Saturday's $1 million Karaka Million is adamant the bookies have the market for the great race wrong.
According to trainer Jamie Richards, even after drawing barrier 15 unbeaten gelding On The Bubbles is the horse to beat in New Zealand's richest juvenile race.
Richards is the trainer for Te Akau, who have won the last four Karaka Millions, and he has five in Saturday night's dash for big cash at Ellerslie but pre-draw favourite On The Bubbles fared worst of them in the barrier draws and will, if the emergencies don't get a start, jump from the outside barrier in the 14-horse field.
Although On The Bubbles had no luck, Richards' unbeaten filly Millefiori drew what appears to be perfectly at barrier five and that saw the TAB bookies shorten Millefiori into $3.40 favouritism while On The Bubbles drifted from $3.40 to $4.60.
But Richards is unwavering in his choice of the stable's best chance.
"Definitely On The Bubbles," he told the Herald.
"I think the way he sat three wide here and won last start, beating some of the horses he meets on Saturday, suggests those horses will have to improve a long way to beat him for a start," says Richards.
"And while there is plenty of other good form in the race, On The Bubbles comes out of what we think is the best lead-up race to get them to this race. He is very well, handling the racing and while he has a wide draw we think if he can get cover three wide he can still hit the line really hard and win."
Richards is by no means decrying the two winning performances of Millefiori, the second of which was just six days ago at Tauranga, and not only does she have perfect form and the right barrier but the country's leading jockey Danielle Johnson.
"She will be hard to beat but she does have to back up from winning just last Friday, which isn't ideal for a filly," says Richards.
The stable also has Avonallo (barrier nine, Lisa Allpress), Sneaky Shark (10, Samantha Collett) and Sophisticardo (eight, Troy Harris) in the Million.
They make up four of the five favourites for the race with the only non-Te Akau runner in single figures Follow The Dreams, who is rated a $8.50 chance from barrier 11 for trainer Kenny Rae and Krystal Williams-Tuhoro.
The blinkers will go on Sneaky Shark after three runs where he has shown plenty of speed and Richards says he will be ridden forward.
"I am not sure he will lead but he will be going forward and getting into the race."
Although the market swing in the Karaka Million post-draw was hardly a surprise, what was harder to understand was how Aegon drew better than co-favourite Amarelinha in Saturday's other $1 million race, the Karaka Classic Mile, and somehow lost favouritism.
The unbeaten Aegon hasn't raced since winning the 2000 Guineas in November but his connections chose barrier four after he was the second horse drawn out in the pick-your-barrier style draw at Karaka.
Amarelinha will start from barrier 11 but even after that she was the $2.10 favourite with the TAB and Aegon moved out to $2.40, with overseas bookies offering as high as $2.70.
That leaves Richards in the scarcely believable position of training five of the six final field favourites for Saturday's huge meeting, with $1.55 Westbury Classic favourite Levante the only exception.
But one of those favourites is yet to be guaranteed a start with Entriviere, who opened $1.95 for the Brighthill Farm Concorde, the sole emergency for the race and needing a scratching to line up on Saturday.