In recent years, however, winning this Group One mile event has been the equivalent of being voted the person most likely to succeed at Kamikaze Academy.
Since Reference Point went on from victory in the 1986 running to take the Derby, the winners have found themselves galloping into obscurity. Between them, Emmson, Al Hareb, Be My Chief, Peter Davies, Seattle Rhyme and Armiger ran 17 times in their Classic year and produced just one success, the last-named's Chester Vase this year.
According to the bookmakers, there is no outstanding colt in the field this year either, as the ante-post favourite for Saturday's race is Fairy Heights, who supplied Neville Callaghan, the Newmarket trainer, with the first Group One victory of his career in the Fillies' Mile at Ascot last month.
Among her rivals in the market is John Gosden's Xylem, who was supplemented over the weekend for pounds 15,000, while Henry Cecil, who has won this event for three of the last four years, has two entries, King's Theatre and Bude, a half-brother to Tenby.
Fairy Heights, whose Ascot success was made to look persuasive form when one of her victims, Relatively Special, was an impressive winner of Newmarket's Group Three Rockfel Stakes last Friday, will be ridden by French-based Cash Asmussen, who has turned down rides in the United States to resume his partnership with the filly.
The daughter of Fairy King will be attempting to become only the second filly, following Noblesse in 1962, to win the race, but Callaghan is undaunted by the fact that history seems to be his most dangerous rival.
'I respect Bude, King's Theatre and Xylem,' he said yesterday. 'Henry Cecil and John Gosden have plenty to choose from, but Fairy Heights has already proved herself Group One class, which their horses haven't.
'I was looking at the Dewhurst, but it seemed a tough race over a furlong shorter and if there is such a thing as an easier Group One then this looks to be it.'
It has not been easy, though, to prise the filly away from her owner, Frank Golding, who has listened to several inquiries for his 41,000 gns purchase. 'Nothing really has transpired,' Callaghan said. 'The owner is quite keen to carry on with her, at least until Saturday.'
With just 10 acceptors at yesterday's forfeit stage, the Newmarket trainer may be tempted to run his other entry, the maiden Chief Executive, to both ensure a decent pace and have a second stab at the race's valuable pot.
'With prize money down to sixth, Chief Executive could run as well,' Callaghan said. 'I am very wary of there being no pace and false-run races often make for a funny result. I'd sooner be beaten in a true-run race.'
RACING POST TROPHY (Doncaster, Saturday): Coral: 7-4 Fairy Heights, 9-4 King's Theatre, 9-2 Bude, 5-1 Hawker Hunter, 7-1 Xylem, 14-1 Khamaseen, 33-1 others. Hills: 13-8 Fairy Heights, 9-4 King's Theatre, 9-2 Hawker Hunter, 5-1 Bude, 13-2 Xylem, 14-1 Khamaseen, 40-1 others.Reuse content