There have been markets up for a while on all six of Saturday's Champions' Day races, and whenever you get reasonably well-formed betting lines the less "mistakes" there tend to be.
At least I thought there wouldn't be a guessing game with the ground, and that we would get good, maybe even quick, conditions at the weekend.
But then I clocked that there was an unsettled forecast from Wednesday afternoon onwards, so we have that question mark to contend with as well. Not ideal, but this is England, after all.
We all know how generous the bookmakers get on Saturday mornings these days, especially with each-way terms - Betfair Sportsbook went seven places with the Cesarewitch on Saturday (my fancies finished fourth and seventh) - but it's high-class fare this weekend, and just the one handicap, so let's crack on.
Order heads up the Long Distance Cup betting
The 2m Long Distance Cup opens the card and Order Of St George is favourite at around 6/4 to atone for his 4/6 defeat, when fourth to Sheikhzayedroad, in the race last year.
He has trodden exactly the same path to this contest as he did last year, and he teed up for this with an excellent fourth in a good Arc last time, a performance that makes him the one to beat once again.
He is effective on any ground but he can throw in the odd below-par run and is vulnerable as a result, and you have to remember that Big Orange inched him out in the Gold Cup, too. But supporters of "Big O" will be more worried about the weather than connections of the favourite, so it's powder dry until the weekend if you fancy the Royal Ascot winner.
The likely lads ranged the pair are the three-year-olds, headed by Goodwood Cup winner (where he beat Big Orange) and Leger third Stradivarius and Desert Skyline are players, too.
None of the Classic generation ran in the race last season, but I suspect that they could take a big hand this year.
I have been keeping an eye on Seventh Heaven on her last two starts, and if the rain stays away then she is interesting this weekend.
She was high-class on a decent surface over 1m4f last season, and she could be ready to step up again now after her 11th in the Arc last time, where I was surprised she took her chances in the soft conditions. Her breeding suggests 2m will be a very big ask, but she is also in the 1m4f Fillies And Mares on the card.
Incidentally, Dartmouth has been supplemented for this race, if that floats your boat.
Weather probably the only thing that can stop Harry Angel
I would have loved to see Harry Angel and Battaash go head-to-head in the 6f Sprint, but, alas no, and that leaves the former as the red-hot favourite at around 5/4 for another Group 1 prize.
I was at Haydock when Harry Angel won the 32Red Sprint Cup, and his four-length defeat of Tasleet and The Tin Man (who won this race last year) was jaw-droppingly good in the heavy ground. And I'd be inclined to say he was that good in spite of the conditions rather than because of them.
At this stage, I do find it hard to envisage him getting chinned, for all Caravaggio beat him by ¾ length in the Commonwealth Cup here and took a step back in the right direction when doing well to win in the Flying Five at the Curragh last time.
I suspect the maturing Harry Angel is a very different beast to the one beaten here in June, and will win.
But let's see what the weather does - connections of Quiet Reflection will be doing that mythical rain dance - and revisit this on Friday afternoon. We all know that I won't be putting up an even-money chance, anyway. Intelligence Cross, each-way, currently catches my eye of Aidan's five at the prices at 100/1, though obviously he could be sacrificed on the front end, as he was at Royal Ascot.
Bateel may be value in the Fillies and Mares
The ground will be a major factor in the Fillies and Mares over 1m4f and if there is any significant ease in the ground then I, for one, would struggle to look beyond Bateel, who dismissed Journey, winner of this race last year, in the Vermeille. She is a top-priced 9/2 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
She is a bit of a beast on soft ground - her form figures on it are 11111, and her record on good soft is one from one - and I have little doubt that she is the most talented filly in the race.
She does have a Group 2 win to her name on good ground, but if Ascot misses the rain then a lot of the opposition come into the equation. Last year's winner Journey is obviously one of those, as are the Aidan O'Brien posse, and the supplemented Park Hill winner Alyssa. And, of course, my Seventh Heaven is in here as well.
Beat The Bank could rule the QEII
Ribchester is the predictable favourite in the QEII but the buzz horse of recent weeks is Beat The Bank, and rightly so.
He has looked ridiculously good in wins in lesser company at Goodwood and Newmarket, looking every inch a potential Group 1 winner.
I think his price of 5/1 is fair - even in a field that could consist of the last year's runner-up Ribchester, 2,000 Guineas winner Churchill, Al Wukair, triple Group 1 winner Roly Poly and numerous other horses proven in this grade - and he is currently the top of my list for this race, even if the 8/1 quotes about him immediately after his Newmarket win are long gone.
Three Ballydoyle horses in the QEII also have the option of running in the Champion Stakes, in which I don't think I will be alone in hoping the favourite Cracksman gets absolutely stuffed.
That is a bit tongue-in-cheek obviously as regular readers know that I put the horse up for the Arc here, and had a fair chunk on myself, only for him not to run because he didn't want to mix it with his stablemate Enable, even though that horse was in different ownership. Ah, bless.
Obviously, Enable won the race, but the idea that Cracksman will be more suited to stepping down to 1m2f is load of old nonsense to me - everyone knows that he hits a flat spot before kicking into overdrive over 1m4f - and he makes no appeal whatsoever, even at the top industry price of 10/3 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
That could just be sour grapes, but I don't feel in the mood to be charitable today, so there.
I hope Ulysses gives him a proper seeing-to, and I think he will. But there is a strong entry of 17 for the race, which includes eight O'Brien horses and the progressive Poet's Word.
Ulysses has done remarkably well to finish placed in a King George and Arc behind Enable considering 1m2f is much more his bag, and if he turns up in the same mood as when beating Churchill and Barney Roy in the Juddmonte - and he has been on the go since April - then I think he will take a lot of beating.
He looks a good price at 5/1 in places, though the Sportsbook are rightly ducking him at 11/4. I think that's a good move, gents, for what it's worth.
A Prince and a Lord vie for favouritism in the Balmoral
There is no shock whatsoever to see Zabeel Prince and Lord Glitters heading the Balmoral Handicap betting.
Zabeel Prince dotted up at York last week and he still looks attractively weighted despite his 6lb penalty - he will go up more than 6lb when he is re-assessed tomorrow - and the world and his partner saw how promisingly Lord Glitters shaped from off the pace over 7f here recently.
He is 4lb well-in on that run, his first for David O'Meara, and the step up to 1m will suit. He had plenty of form over a mile and 1m2f when trained in France - he was bought for 270,000 euros in the summer - and he does look to have an awful lot going for him.
No recommended bets here for now, but I'll be back on Friday, when there certainly will be.
Until then, good luck.