The Gold Cup is undoubtedly the race that will garner most attention on the Thursday of Royal Ascot, though it's probably fair to say it will lose some of its lustre if Trueshan is declared a non-runner, which looks long odds-on at this stage.
However, there'll still be lots of interest around the race as old-timer Stradivarius looks to roll back the years and equal Yeats' record of four successes in the ultimate test of the flat stayer.
Even with Trueshan an absentee, though, John Gosden's son of Sea The Stars is unlikely to have an easy ride, with the young up-and-comer Kyprios sure to throw down a stiff challenge.
At least Stradivarius will have his favoured fast ground - or favoured as in the eyes of his connections - who seem to consistently overlook the fact that his joint career-best effort came in this race on a soft surface in 2020!
While the Gold Cup will be a race to savour, it's not really one that falls into the remit of this column, which aims to find some out-of-the-box selections in alternative markets.
For punting purposes, we're going to concentrate on the 1m 2f Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at 17:35, where there could be some value in the 'without the favourite' markets.
The main contenders
This is a race that will see Reach For The Moon go off a strong favourite as he aims to give the Queen a poignant winner at the Royal meeting.
John & Thady Gosden's son of Sea The Stars created a big impression when winning a novice contest at Newbury last year, before following that up with success in Group 3 company at Sandown.
He finished up with a second to Bayside Boy in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster before a set-back curtailed his juvenile campaign.
Forced to miss the Derby having been slow to come to hand, he shaped as if retaining all his ability when second to My Prospero on his comeback last month, understandably getting a little tired late on.
He sets a tall standard in here based on the overall balance of his form.
Claymore made an impressive start when landing a Newmarket novice with ease last October He then Improved on that when runner-up in Craven Stakes there on reappearance and his latest effort in the French 2000 Guineas is easily excused from a poor draw.
Cresta was a debut winner last summer who left his reappearance effort well behind sporting in a first-time hood when runner-up in a listed event at Chester last month. He changed hands for £490,000 earlier this week so expectations will clearly be high.
Maksud created a really good impression when landing a Windsor minor event at Windsor on debut in April and then took a big step forward when fourth in listed event at Goodwood last time.
Aidan O'Brien's Howth makes up the shortlist, and while he didn't really kick on after a nursery win last season, it's worth noting he's kept some pretty salty company since then, including when facing the likes of Coroebus and Stone Age.
How will it be run?
This looks as though it will be run at a steady gallop and there's every chance that Reach For The Moon will get to dictate his own fractions in front.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that if the horse with the best form also gets an uncontested lead, he'll prove very difficult to peg back.
The Queen's charge has made the running in three of his six races to date and there's every chance that Frankie Dettori will want to keep things simple again on what should be the best horse in the race.
There is a potential spanner in the works in the shape of Claymore, who made the running in the French 2,000 Guineas last time, though Adam Kirby's hand was rather forced somewhat there with his mount being drawn out in the car park.
I'd find it something of a surprise were Claymore to go forward this time and expect him to settle into more of a stalking position.
How to play the race
Having already established that Reach For The Moon has the best form, I have no desire to take him on in this spot. For me, he looks one of the most likely winners of the week.
The 'without the favourite' market interests me in here, though, and I suspect Aidan O'Brien's Howth has been somewhat underestimated.
His official rating isn't that far behind the likes of Claymore and Maksud, who are both towards the head of this particular market, and I think there's every chance he could find some improvement for the step up to 1m 2f for the first time.
That theory is given credence when we look at Howth's pedigree, as he's closely related to the smart Cayenne Pepper - who was a winner over this trip - and Just Because, a winner over 1m 3f.