Welcome to first of what will be a daily column throughout this week looking at one race each day from Royal Ascot.
While the likes of Tony Calvin, Kevin Blake et al will be providing selections for flat racing's showpiece in the more traditional markets, I'm going to take an out-of-the-box look at a selected race and break it down into its constituent parts.
I'll guide you through the main contenders, the way the race is likely to be run, any trainer/jockey snippets that may be relevant, and finally look to eke out a bet or two in the alternative markets available on the Exchange and Sportsbook.
So, without further ado, let's go!
The race I'll be focusing on for the first day of the meeting is the 5f Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at 15:40.
This is a contest for out-and-out speedsters, and this year has a really international feel to it, bringing together a pair of the world's fastest horses, Golden Pal from the USA and Nature Strip from Australia.
We've even got Ponntos, a raider from the Czech Republic to throw into the mix!
Throw in some of sharpest 5f runners from the UK and Ireland, along with some horses who were plying their trades in Dubai over the winter, and the race has a truly cosmopolitan feel to it.
The main contenders
Nature Strip and Golden Pal dominate the betting at the time writing, and with very good reason.
The former is one of the best Australian sprinters since Black Caviar - who came over and took the Diamond Jubilee back in 2012 - and he proved just about as good as ever at the age of eight when taking the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick for the third successive year last time.
Wesley Ward's Golden Pal is no stranger to these shores having been touched off in the Norfolk Stakes as a juvenile. He also came over for York's Nunthorpe last season, where he ran an uncharacteristic poor race.
Between those two outings, he was unbeatable back in the USA, and he proved better than ever on his return when cruising home in a 5.5f Grade 2 contest at Keeneland in April.
The home defence - certainly in ratings terms anyway - is headed by Charlie Appleby's Man Of Promise and Tim Easterby's filly Winter Power.
Man Of Promise looked firmly on the upgrade in his first two outings at Meydan at the start of the year before running a little flat when only third to A Case Of You in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night.
Winter Power started off life in nurseries from a mark of 76 as a juvenile and rapidly made her way up the ranks in her sophomore season, winning a pair of listed races before taking the Nunthorpe at York in August.
She was desperately weak in the betting for her comeback race at Haydock last month and faded as if need of the race.
That Group 2 was taken by King's Lynn, with an lucky-in-running Twilight Calls just a head behind in second, but more of him later.
How will it be run?
In a word: furiously.
There are several in here who only have one way of going, so it will be a major surprise if they don't go lickety-split right from the off.
The question is, can any of these sprinters go fast enough to take Golden Pal out of his comfort zone on the front end?
I think there's little doubt he's the fastest horse in the race early doors - he's absolutely electric from the gates and could be two or three lengths ahead within the first 100 yards or so, as evidenced by his blazing win at the Breeders' Cup last season.
Winter Power is very speedy but even she couldn't keep up with Golden Pal at York last season, before eventually coming through to take the race after he faded.
I don't envisage Nature Strip being on the lead, but he also won't want to give Golden Pal too much rope.
Golden Pal backers will be hoping the excellent Irad Ortiz can ration a bit of that early speed to see him home as the pair hit the uphill finish, with a whole host of closers likely to be queuing up for a shot at him late on.
How to play the race
Knowing Golden Pal only has one way of running, I could see at least one or two of these trying to go with him to get him doing a bit too much early on.
There'll be a few in here who'll be ready to pick up the pieces if Golden Pal fades, though at the same time I'm wary he could be just too good.
Hence, my focus in here is going to be playing a closer with Golden Pal in a forecast, and a hold-up horse in the place markets.
I'm not really interested in the prominent racers, as they could do their chances more harm than good trying to play Wesley Ward's rocket at his own game.
Twilight Calls is a horse who has impressed me on all three starts this season, even when fifth at Newmarket on his penultimate start, where he raced away from the main action.
He has a potent turn of foot from the rear and this race could set up perfectly for him.
He'd have beaten King's Lynn with a better run through last time and I think he can play a big part in here granted a decent passage.
We can play him a reverse forecast with Golden Pal at 9.08/1 on the Sportsbook, and that make plenty of appeal.
Add another string to the bow
There is one other closer in here who interests me, and that is Existent.
He improved in leaps and bounds over the winter and a strongly run 5f is right in his ballpark.
While I'm not convinced he's good enough to win a race of this magnitude, he's more than capable of picking up some late pieces given a favourable set-up.
It's not a massive price, but 5.14/1 about him being in the first 5 places on the Exchange makes plenty of appeal.