THE feeding frenzy by corporate betting houses on the punting pie should be stimulated by Saturday's menu at Rosehill Gardens.

MAX PRESNELL reports in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD that perhaps the Ranvet, featuring Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, doesn't get a current ''Championship'' rating but it lives up to a great standard established over more than a century.

In fact, the clash between Fiorente and the New Zealander It's A Dundeel promises to be a preview of the much-touted $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 19.

Not that the Ranvet is a two-horse match, either, but just one facet of an outstanding Sydney program that should stimulate what is regarded as a $26 billion wagering market.

Reports indicate James Packer's Crown Resorts is going to move on Betfair. It already holds 50 per cent.

Horse players regard Betfair, where punters are matched to win or lay with the company taking a percentage, as the most reliable market.

However, it would seem that the Betfair overlords in Britain aren't satisfied with the profit generated by the colonial operation.

Apparently Crown is keen to get into online fixed odds, a popular flavour with the corporates, through the Betfair licence at a time when the once-major local operators Mark Read and Matthew Tripp are returning after an absence.

Advertising ploys to lure clients have never been more prevalent but punters are hopeful the return of the Aussies will allow them to get set for reasonable amounts and not cut back to the Sunday school donation category, a corporate innovation.

Maybe the Coolmore for fillies and mares on Saturday lacks the class of Appearance and Red Tracer but being a handicap has considerable betting appeal.

First markets released have Catkins early favourite with $5 the best price offered.

Wise guys figure the first prices are only berley so bookmakers can get a strong indication of educated money for petty cash.

Catkins has drawn 14 and the navigation for the right position by Hugh Bowman should prove decisive, but she does have tactical speed, an advantage over rival Sharnee Rose.

With scope for improvement, Sharnee Rose was beaten two lengths by Catkins in the Wiggle Stakes over 1400 metres at Warwick Farm on March 8, and meets her on better terms.

Some figure clever manipulation by Chris Waller, trainer of Catkins, has swung the balance in her favour.

''Every man and his dog knew Chris Waller wasn't going to run Red Tracer, yet the nomination achieved its objective of compressing the weights. The people making the rules need to be smarter than to let this happen,'' ''Mr Chan'' opined on Racenet.

Rival trainers reckon Catkins got in a kilo light and when a mare is on 58kg it could prove significant. Anyway, that's how I'm going to bet.

Gai Waterhouse is tipping improvement from her three-year-old Sweet Idea.

''The filly didn't like Warwick Farm,'' she said of the last-start failure. ''Does anybody?''

Another highlight will be the two-year-old events, particularly the Reisling, with the clash of Earthquake and Mossfun, promising to produce the winner of the upcoming $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

Of course Unencumbered, which opened at $3.50 in the Todman, will be out to make up for his drab effort recently. He meets the talented Melbourne pair Jabali and Cornrow, from the Mick Price stable.

Many two-year-olds from down south have found Sydney difficult at their first attempt but Price gave them both barrier trials at Randwick on Monday.

Jabali in particular was impressive winning over 727m, obviously not a demanding assignment but The Midweeker, a specialist barrier trial publication, reported: ''Best away, steadied to share lead wide. Scored without being allowed full rein.''

Still the Ranvet is the main event with the dash of It's A Dundeel against the strength and staying power of Fiorente.

Ironically Melbourne Cup winners such as Fiorente have a reasonable record in the 2000m weight-for-age event, in which sprinters are suited, with seven winning both.

In Damien Oliver, Fiorente has the services of a champion, while James McDonald on It's A Dundeel is at the budding stage but has the rare gift - horses run for him.

Vital tempo should be applied by Carlton House, which like Fiorente is another import rejuvenated by Waterhouse.

Still the Waller contingent - Foreteller, winner of the corresponding race last year, Hawkspur and Moriarty - cannot be overlooked.

McDonald wasn't outgunned by opposition pressure in the Chipping Norton at Warwick Farm last start when It's A Dundeel went down to Waller's Boban. It's A Dundeel lacked a fitness edge.

Sure, the New Zealander has more acceleration than Fiorente, which never wins easy but enjoys the fray. I'd rather be with him than against him.