The first big race of the afternoon on Wednesday at Ascot sees the Group Three Sagaro Stakes over two miles with the feature race acting as one of the leading trials for the Gold Cup in June.
Trueshan and Coltrane did battle with each other all year last term and they start off again in this and we are siding with the seven year old Trueshan, who just has that fitness edge.
Having won the Group Two Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day in 2020 at the end of the campaign it firmly put Trueshan in the mix for a go at the staying races last season.
His dominant display over two miles on soft ground at Ascot in October of that year saw him go off second favourite for the Ormonde Stakes at Chester but found the trip and course too taxing for speed to get the better of Japan.
Missing the Gold Cup due to the underfoot conditions, he instead tried to shoulder top weight in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, but a rating of 118 left him giving away too much weight to the rest of the field.
Since then he has waited on for his perfect conditions and got that in the Group Two Goodwood Cup where he went on to rout a good field of stayers by close to four lengths.
Skipping the Doncaster Cup he headed into the Group One Prix Du Cadran in France and getting his ideal trip and ground he went to battle with Stradivarius and beat him by close to five lengths.
He was then seen winning back to back renewals of the Group Two Long Distance Cup at Ascot cementing himself as the best stayer throughout the season.
Starting last season at Nottingham when taking the Listed Further Flight Stakes ahead of the talented Quickthorn, he then missed his engagement in the Gold Cup due to the ground and instead was sent to Newcastle for the Northumberland Plate.
Running off a top weight of 10st 8lb giving two stone to the second he went on to take 20 runner handicap, putting up a superb staying perfromance.
Looking to make it a hat-trick of wins for the season he went into the Goodwood Cup but could only finish third behind Kyprios, running a cracker but the ground ultimately too quick for him,
He rounded out the season with a neck second to Coltrane in the Doncaster Cup but he then reversed the form at Ascot when taking a third straight Long Distance Cup.
Back for another term this year, he started off again at Nottingham and was a shock second behind Rajinsky. That event should have put him spot on for this and getting cut in the ground he is the one to beat.