Royal Ascot gets under way next Tuesday and the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes is building up into one of the most anticipated races of the season.
Three of Europes top milers', Goldikova, Paco Boy and Rip Van Winkle are on course to lock horns next week, when reputations will be put on the line in what could be the highlight of the meeting.
Freddie Head, Goldikova's trainer, is in bullish mood saying: She's in very good form; I don't think I've ever had her better. I know she plays up in the stalls, but it's only because she likes being pushed in and leaning against the hands of the handlers."
Connections of Paco Boy announced that the colt was 80% certain to run in the race, with the proviso that should Ascot's ground turn soft the Golden Jubilee Stakes would become an alternative option.
Ascot are anticipating plenty of rain this week, but if the long range forecast is correct racegoers could be enjoying perfect conditions for the five day festival.
Aidan O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle also has an entry in Wednesday's Prince of Wales Stakes, but connections have stated for some time that the 1m contest is the preferred option.
With Sea The Stars out of the equation now, the Galileo colt will be expected to build on a successful three year-old campaign, but will have the disadvantage of not having raced since a fruitless attempt in the Breeders' Cup Classic last November.
In what looks a race to savour, Goldikova is a general 7/4 favourite with Paco Boy as short as 7/4 but 9/4 with Bet365 and William Hill. Lack of an outing this season means that Rip Van Winkle can be backed at a standout 10/3 with sportingbet.
Anyone considering an ante-post bet on Goldikova should bear in mind that the mare's stalls antics may not meet with the same sympathetic handling that was the case on her recent outing in France.