James McDonald riding Its A Dundeel.

Its A Dundeel in action last year. Photo: Pat Scala

Bookmakers around the country, led by the biggest operator TAB.com.au, are offering pre-post punters no value for The Championships races in April.

The weights were released for April's Doncaster Mile and Sydney Cup on Monday but there was little movement in the markets, TAB.com.au fixed odds having 20 entries at $15 or less. That equates to 155 per cent of the market after weights were released.

Most of the corporate bookmakers have between 12 and 15 runners at the same mark, making it almost impossible for punters trying to get value despite betting almost two months out. Surely, punters deserve better. It would be hoped that bookmakers would have taken a stand against at least a few runners after the weights were released. But they continue to have huge margins in early markets. If you take all of the entries into account, they are running at more than 300 per cent.

''Punters should be waiting until this market sorts itself out because that seems awfully high,'' leading rails bookmaker Rob Waterhouse said. ''In the old days, we would want to have horses at 20-1 and under to be at less than 100 per cent of the market. That was my first job, doing the Doncaster and Sydney Cup double, and it wouldn't have happened in the old days.''

Appearance and Guelph are equal Doncaster favourites at $8 with the TAB, but punters prepared to shop around the corporates can get $10 the field.

The big number of entries for the Doncaster has made it difficult for bookmakers to frame competitive markets but among the dozen horses at $15 are Zoustar, Red Tracer and It's a Dundeel, all of which have been named as targeting other races during The Championships.

TAB.com.au traders obviously have plenty of respect for Team Hawkes - Notlistenin'tome, which is second favourite for the T.J. Smith, is also on the second line of the Doncaster at $11.

Messene, which has won seven of 10 starts and only one in open company, is on the $15 line, even though the five-year-old is on the 50-kilogram limit and 63rd on the order of entry. Another promising galloper, White Sage, is $15, despite being 44th on the order of entry as she is on the limit.

The Doncaster weights will probably have to be lifted, as It's A Dundeel was given a top weight of 58kg, with Racing NSW handicappers not attempting to get a bigger spread in the weights by imposing a high topweight. With It's A Dundeel unlikely to run in the Doncaster, Boban seems the likely top weight after being given 56.5kg. He carried 57kg to win the second leg of his spring double, the Emirates Stakes, which was 5kg over the limit. He is effectively 6½kg over the limit in the Doncaster weights.

Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente heads the Sydney Cup weights on 59.5kg, with Green Moon, the 2012 Melbourne Cup winner, on 58kg.

TAB fixed odds on the Sydney Cup have 17 horses at $15 or under with impressive Saturday winner Opinion sharing the top line of betting at $8 with Sandown Classic winner Sertorius and the Gai Waterhouse-trained The Offer, which won the Ballarat Cup.