TRAINER Craig Widdison admits he was more than a bit bemused when he saw the fixed odds opening prices of his three Wodonga Gold Cup hopefuls.
Widdison will target his first home town feature victory with Willi Willi, Wyangle and Ruby Skye.
And while Widdison feels any three of his runners could win without surprising, bookmakers disagree.
Willi Willi is quoted as a $34-chance while Ruby Skye is at $16.
Wyangle opened at $31 late on Wednesday but has since been crunched into $10.
"I was fairly surprised when I first seen the odds of my runners," Widdison said.
"Especially Willi Willi who I give a big chance in the race.
"Second-up last preparation he didn't get beat that far at Caulfield in a much stronger race than this.
"Wyangle opened up at silly odds but I see they soon went and unfortunately I wasn't quick enough.
"Ruby Skye is probably also at generous odds."
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Wyangle is coming off a luckless run at Sandown where he was badly held-up on several occasions in the home straight.
The six-year-old finished third in the cup last year and Widdison said Wyangle has improved further this preparation.
"I thought Wyangle had no luck whatsoever last start in similar sort of grade," he said.
"All four of his past runs have been pretty luckless really.
"I think the horse is going great and is drawn to get a nice run.
"If he can get his fair share of luck at the right time, I think he can give it a real shake.
"Last year in the cup was his first try over a mile and he will certainly be better for the experience."
Willi Willi is arguably the most intriguing runner in the race.
Last year's Albury Gold Cup winner is a classy galloper when in form but has failed to win another race since his Albury triumph.
Willi Willi also ran third in the Wagga Gold Cup this year.
He will tackle the Wodonga feature second-up from a spell after finishing at the tail of the field at Flemington in group 3 company when resuming.
"It was always the plan to head into the Wodonga Cup second-up," he said.
"It's obviously a nice race to win if he can recapture his form.
"But it's certainly not his grand final and he will have quite a few more runs this preparation.
"He hasn't won since his Albury Gold Cup victory which is obviously a query.
"But he did run third in the Wagga Gold Cup earlier this year which is good form for a race of this nature.
"I certainly think he is going better this preparation but time will tell."
Widdison said Ruby Skye was also a winning hope who drops sharply in grade after finishing midfield in the lucrative $500,000 MCCC Country Final at Flemington last start.
"Ruby Skye is as tough as nails," he said.
"She burst through down the straight at Flemington and for a fleeting second I got excited and thought she was going to be right in the finish.
"To finish midfield wasn't a bad effort considering she didn't have the ideal preparation because she ran second first-up and then had to back-up in the final a week later."
As expected, Widdison has a large team at the meeting with 13 runners.
He pinpointed Banger in $35,000 Benchmark 64 Hcp, (1100m) as his best winning chance on the program.
"To have 13 runners at you home town cup is satisfying," he said.
"I think Banger is going to be hard to beat in the last race on the card.
"He hasn't had much luck in two runs at Moonee Valley and Wagga since resuming."