The soft ground at Royal Ascot may have caused the defection of two runners in the King Edward VII Stakes, but a top-draw field remains and Noble Mission can be proved justified for missing the Epsom Derby to triumph at 4/1.
It is the Derby that provides the main form line for the race, with Astrology finishing third behind stablemate Camelot and Thought Worthy just a place further back.
This is why it is no surprise that Astrology heads the Royal Ascot betting at 4/5 and with three weeks having passed since his Epsom excursions, he should have suitably recovered.
However, horses to have competed in the Derby do not have a great record when also running in the King Edward VII Stakes.
Only two of the last 12 winners of this race had previously contested the Derby and so it may pay to take on the favourite.
Thought Worthy may have been found out by the course rather than the 1m4f trip in the Derby and may be able to reverse form at 6/1, especially with the overnight rain making it even more of a stamina test.
The withdrawal of Shantaram is unfortunate as he could have challenged given how close he finished to Main Sequence earlier in the season, who since finished second in the Derby.
However, it is Noble Mission who certainly looks the bet at the prices.
He finished only marginally adrift of Thought Worthy on his latest start and this was despite giving him a 5lb pull in the weights and sweating up badly beforehand.
The pair will be on level terms at Ascot, which should allow Noble Mission to triumph this time, while the step up to 1m4f for the first time looks as if it may suit.
Thomas Chippendale has been thrown in at the deep end slightly by Sir Henry Cecil as this represents a big jump in class, but he did win well last time and could improve.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.