Lightinthenite had the best draw of the favourites for Monday's Darwin Cup, leaving the field wide open.
The 7-year-old gelding will start from barrier 4, while trainer Neil Dyer's two chances Cantonese and Royal Request had the worst of the draw.
Cantonese placed in the Chief Minister's Cup and came third in the Darwin Handicap last week, but will struggle to get a good position starting from barrier 13.
The winner of the NT Derby over the cup distance of 2,000 metres, Royal Request, had even rougher luck, drawing the widest barrier.
Former AFL player and Hawthorn legend Robert DiPierdomenico has a part-share in Smarty Mac, which drew well in barrier 8.
"It'd be great to go home with the Cup, how good would that be? Come here to Darwin, few beers, catch up with a few people, enjoy the sun and go home with the Darwin Cup," he said.
More than 20,000 people are expected at the Fannie Bay Racetrack for the running of the Darwin Cup on Monday, which falls on the Picnic Day public holiday.