Phoenix slot holder Ladbrokes have quashed suggestions they plan on dumping Schillaci, ending rumours of a late switch just a week and a half out from the world’s richest greyhound race.
The news comes as both Tabcorp and Total Container Solutions confirmed they would be announcing their representatives on Wednesday morning, the sixth and seventh runners of the eight-dog field.
Five dogs have so far been confirmed for the $1.65 million race at The Meadows on December 16.
RSN locked in the Kel and Jackie Greenough-trained Big Energy last week, before his brilliant run for second in the Sportsbet Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park last Saturday night.
Schillaci (Ladbrokes), Alpha Zulu (Good Blokes Society), Jay Is Jay (Racing Queensland) and Postman Pat (Greyhounds HQ) have also been secured for the 525-metre race.
Schillaci – who finished fourth to Transponder in last month's Group 1 Topgun over 525m at The Meadows – will trial on Wednesday and again at The Meadows next Monday, and sources said he would take his place in The Phoenix barring any unforeseen injuries.
Tabcorp and Total Container Solutions will nominate their greyhounds on Wednesday morning, ahead of Friday's deadline. Total Container Solutions will make their announcement on The Phoenix Flight Path podcast at 9am, while the TAB's runner will be revealed on The Morning Line between 9am and 9.30am.
The final field and box draw will be conducted live on Sky Racing 2 from 10.30am on Sunday, with connections able to choose which box they want their dog to start from.
While yet to be confirmed, two-time Phoenix winner Wow She's Fast remains in the mix to represent Sportsbet for a third time, in what could be her swansong race.
She trialled at Sandown last week and defeated kennelmate Isle Of Rose in 29.35, slightly slower than the benchmark Kel Greenough had set for her.
But Sportsbet's Shannon Tremellen told Racing.com on Saturday night that they would leave their decision as late as possible.
"Certainly, it would be a dream for her to do the three-peat," Tremellen said.
"We're obviously aware we want to do everyone justice and do the right thing, that's why we decided not to rule a line through her immediately and give this decision the credit that it needs."
Wow She's Fast is currently an $11 chance with Sportsbet.
Other dogs in the futures market but yet to be secured by slot holders Saturday night's Melbourne Cup winner Aussie Rocks, Hector Fawley, In The Hub, Morton, Pass The Buck, Tim Zoo and Transponder.
Aussie Rocks' owner Ray Brittain told Racing.com on Saturday night that his Geoff Mitchell-trained dog warranted a Phoenix berth.
"He's a very underrated dog and especially at The Meadows," Brittain said.
"Not many people rate him. We've come up against Postman Pat a couple of times, we beat him. We've beaten some very handy dogs at The Meadows. We'll see what happens."
Aussie Rocks could run in a Challenger Match Race on Phoenix night if he doesn't gain a berth in the feature event.