The Northumberland Plate is the only starting point for any ante-post column this week, and the story of the race is that the 120-rated Trueshan is set to head the weights off 10st 8lb.
It is a little depressing we only see the best stayer around - and you have to say that, despite the best efforts of Kyprios last week - when there is some ease in the ground, but at least he looks highly likely to rock up here on the all-weather and he definitely gives the contest an extra edge.
Don't dismiss Trueshan
It would be one monumental effort for Trueshan to even get near to giving this field upwards of 19lb and a beating off his mark, but it is possible I guess, as his odds of 10/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook (the best price in the marketplace) underline.
And he did go off 5/2 in the race last season when beaten just under four lengths off a mark of 118.
He improved subsequently, so I wouldn't be in a rush to dismiss him. Alan King's 6yo will be 100 per cent straight here too, having being primed for Royal Ascot (though that was also the case last season, I guess).
I must admit that I am drawn to him at 10s, but you can fully see why the progressive 4yo Valley Forge and Chester Cup third Rajinsky are inching ahead of him in the betting.
It is a hugely competitive race though, as 8/1 the field (if you shop around) illustrates, and you can make a case for bundles.
If Alright Sunshine backs up quickly from his Copper Horse Stakes fourth at Ascot then he has to be considered, but the one I settled on is another of King's entries, the 9yo Rainbow Dreamer.
He is 20/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook, and currently 21.020/1 on the Exchange, and he is a win-only bet on either market at that price. And a good one, too.
I will go with the Sportsbook as the place to play for liquidity reasons, and if you want to go each-way, four places, then so be it. There is a maximum field of 20 for the race, by the way.
Improving on last year is more than a dream
Rainbow Dreamer was 15th in this race last season but that isn't quite as bad as it sounds as it was beaten just over eight lengths and it did come off a mark of 110.
Furthermore, he did get very badly squeezed out just after the start there from his midfield draw - the field came off across him, Jim Crowley had to take a big pull and he soon found himself third-last - and he simply could not get into the race thereafter.
He returns rated just 98 - again the handicapper has wasted no time in dropping these old boys - and he has plenty of Newcastle form to make him a big, big player.
He was a close fifth in this race off 107 in 2020, and I think the handicapper has been exceptionally kind in dropping him 4lb for his perfectly respectable run here on All Weather Finals Day in April.
We haven't seen him since, which is a slight worry, but hopefully connections have simply kept him fresh for another crack at this prize.
And he does have a very good recent record after a short break. He may not have won but he has posted performances that would make him very competitive here off his rapidly falling handicap mark (which incidentally is his lowest since winning off 97 at Kempton in January 2020, by two lengths from a horse going for a four-timer).
The more I look the more I think 20s is far too big, and any 14s and bigger appeals. I have no idea if he is a guaranteed runner, but let's hope he is.
I am going to leave it there, and keep my powder fresh on the other weekend races.
I'll be back on Thursday evening/Friday morning. Good luck.