A scramble for a Magic Millions start will add a touch of desperation to what might normally be considered a run-of-the-mill two-year-old race at Canterbury on Saturday.
And, in a contest in which six of the eight runners in the ATC Membership On Sale Now Plate (1200m) are chasing a Millions berth, trainer Scott Aspery expects his colt Star Wars to stake a claim for a start in the $2 million race.
It's a last-ditch approach that on face value has been made easier because of the scratching of Champagne Cath but Aspery is lamenting her absence.
"I'm actually a bit disappointed she's not there because I wanted to get a good guide on where our horse is at," Aspery said.
"And I think it takes a little bit of the speed out of the race as well."
Aspery still believes the likes of Aussies Love Sport will run along enough to give Star Wars his chance to power home.
Star Wars, a son of Starcraft, is raced by Viive Williams who has already experienced winning the Magic Millions as an owner of 2011 winner Karuta Queen.
Aspery said Star Wars was a colt with plenty of raw talent and shouldn't be underestimated despite being the outsider in Saturday's field.
"If he's not overcome by the occasion I think he's a realistic chance of winning," Aspery said.
"He has a lot of raw ability. He is an outstanding-looking colt and I think the 1200 metres will suit him.
"The wide barrier and Canterbury are concerns but that aside, providing he doesn't get overawed I think he can be right in the finish.
"Being a fortnight out (from the Magic Millions) there's a few having a throw at the stumps.
"It should be an interesting race."
Champagne Cath was withdrawn on Friday and is no longer on a Magic Millions path because of lameness.
Champagne Cath had been favourite to make it two straight wins on the back of an impressive debut at Rosehill.
Gai Waterhouse's Aussies Love Sport is the new favourite to make a winning debut.
Aussies Love Sport is at $2.50 for his Canterbury assignment and is $14 or the Magic Millions Classic after as much as $151 was offered.
Aussies Love Sport and Star Wars both need to win to make the Magic Millions field.
"If he doesn't win (on Saturday) we won't worry about it," Waterhouse said.
"We'll concentrate on winning the Golden Slipper with him."