All the big guns stood their ground among the 17 remaining possibles in Saturday's Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, headed by Kingman.
"John Gosden's hugely impressive Greenham Stakes victor is unbeaten in three starts and looked the real deal when winning at Newbury."
John Gosden's hugely impressive Greenham Stakes victor is unbeaten in three starts and looked the real deal when winning at Newbury.
Aidan O'Brien's Australia had been winter favourite for the Classic but lost that position when Kingman reappeared.
The vibes coming out of Ballydoyle regarding the son of Galileo and Ouija Board, two of the best racehorses of modern times, have been strong for some time, and O'Brien can also still call on Dewhurst winner War Command, Giovanni Boldini and Oklahoma City.
Richard Hannon is another trainer with multiple chances, in what his first season holding a licence having taken over from his father. The unbeaten Craven Stakes winner Toormore heads his team, ably supported by Night of Thunder and Shifting Power.
Roger Varian's Racing Post Trophy hero Kingston Hill brings a solid profile to the table, while the William Haggas-trained Ertijaal, victorious on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday, is another improver.
There is significant overseas interest, too, with Noozhoh Canarias, the first ever Spanish-trained contender, set to take his chance.
Freddy Head is bullish about Prix Djebel scorer Charm Spirit, a route taken a few years ago by Makfi, whose trainer Mikel Delzangles could run Bookrunner.
Godolphin's Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip, Kevin Ryan's The Grey Gatsby, David Elsworth's Master The World and Marco Botti's Lat Hawill are the other possibles.
Among those taken out were Berkshire, Be Ready, True Story and Sudirman.
Kingman is a strong 2.3811/8 favourite to take the first classic of the season, with the deposed Australia's reputation keeping him at 4.47/2.