Last year’s Gold Challenge attracted the highest average merit rating of any field in the 2007 racing year, and it seems the 2008 version will be no different. Six Grade One winners and two consecutive Guineas victors is a formidable assembly by any measure, particularly when it includes several who might be celebrating their swansongs before their departure for foreign climes. No doubt, their connections will do everything to see them go out in a blaze of glory, and the likes of Our Giant, Pocket Power and Imbongi will be primed to the minute. No excuses this time.

For Imbongi, the only three year old in the line-up, this will be his biggest challenge to date. Yes, he did beat Pocket Power, Successful Bidder, Bold Ellinore and Floatyourboat in the Drill Hall last time at the races, but this one’s an extra furlong and the opposition will be at the top of their game.