The 2000 Guineas takes place on Saturday and there are a number of horses that can beat Frankel
If history tells us one thing it is that any horse can be beaten and logic suggests there are three ways Frankel can be beaten in Saturday's 2000 Guineas.
First, he might run below par for no obvious reason; second, his tendency to pull hard might prove a weakness on his biggest day yet; or third, one of his rivals might just spring up and record a top-notch performance to beat him fair and square as the pair pull clear.
But much the most likely scenario is that Frankel will use that raking stride to forge clear up the hill to give Cecil his 25th British Classic win and send the Newmarket faithful into raptures.
Granted, Frankel's habit of pulling hard early is a slight concern, but it hasn't stopped him winning four good races by a total of almost 30 lengths and, with potential dangers like Wootton Bassett, Dream Ahead and Dubai Prince all missing, I reckon he should be more like 1.4 than the current 1.57 available on Betfair.
However, the best Guineas value probably lies in using a little imagination in the place lay and without Frankel markets.
Those with a line into Coolmore seem to feel Dewhurst second Roderic O'Connor hasn't grown over the winter, but he thrived on racing at two and is the only horse to give Frankel anything like a race since his debut.
He looks capable of running a bold race on the pace again, while Casamento is another proven Group 1 performer who looks capable of outrunning long odds even though it is a shade worrying that his presence seems something of an afterthought after Godolphin were forced to scratch Dubai Prince.
On the lay front it looks like I will have to go pretty high to oppose Dubawi Gold in the place market. The risk looks worth taking, though, as Richard Hannon's colt is surely in much too deep here having been hard pushed to land a couple of Lingfield Listed contests this spring.
The older I get the less keen I am to commit in races where the market has yet to take shape properly, but the following points might be worth noting on the rest of the Guineas day card...
Proponent looks to have much more going than most in the opener at 14:00.
Roger Charlton's gelding is a past winner of this and hasn't gone backwards judged on several good efforts in top handicaps last year and a strong-finishing fourth on his Newbury reappearance.
These conditions suit and having Frankie on board for the first time is clearly no hardship.
Four of the sextet for the 14:30 look very closely matched but a split stakes ploy involving Laaheb and Dandino looks the safe ploy.
The market won't miss Laaheb. That said, he's a hugely reliable and uncomplicated horse with fitness on his side and leading form claims.
Dandino needs a lifetime best to win this, but the market might take a chance with him. Either way, he boasts a fine strike rate and looked better than ever when slamming a couple of useful rivals at Ripon.
I don't doubt that Astrophysical Jet is the most interesting horse in the Palace House at 15:45.
Whether Ed McMahon's filly is nap material first time out under a penalty is another matter, but AJ thrived last year and owns the sort of late burst which very few of her peers can match.
The freewheeling Jonny Mudball, Inxile and Tangerine Trees look bound to help force a searching gallop here, but even so I doubt they will go hard enough to allow Evens And Odds land a major blow.
He offers place lay potential on his first run over five furlongs since 2008, while Tangerine Trees is another for the place lay short list given that there seems zero chance of a soft lead at this level.
The 15:45 is tough to price up and even tougher to call. Fahey and Hanagan seldom err when it comes to assessing their horses and the jungle drums keep beating out a message suggesting that big things are expected of Alben Star this year.
If that's the case, a mark of 89 could prove very workable, while Regal Approval blotted his copybook at the stalls on his final start in 2010 but did enough before then to suggest that he is another with the scope to do some damage in valuable handicaps this year.
Much depends on how they bet in a 16:55 which looks wide open. The fact that Namibian recorded a career best here despite being hampered on his reappearance suggests that he ought to corner a fair chunk of the market.
If he does then I suspect I will be laying him. Mark Johnston's colt has shown a lazy streak on occasion and that might just cost him here against improvers like Cai Shen, Ocean War and Treasury Devil.