The inaugural St James's Palace Stakes winner was Plenipotentiary (1834) - although to say he won it is a little inaccurate as the race became a walkover when his main rival of the day, Glencoe, was withdrawn.
More recently, the 2011 race could nearly have been declared a walkover had we known just how good Frankel would turn out to be, though that win over Zoffany at 3/10 wasn't one of his more exceptional performances.
Like Frankel, Pinatubo was one of the highest-rated two-year-olds we'd seen in years - but with Pinatubo just third on his return in the 2,000 Guineas, the St James's Palace Stakes (3.0 Ascot) looks quite open, and Guineas runner-up Wichita is vying for favouritism.
That leaves Pinatubo fans like me in a bit of a dilemma. There's nothing worse than following a once-great horse over a cliff, and Charlie Appleby's charge didn't seem to have the same spark last time that saw him win all of his six starts as a juvenile. On the other hand, he wasn't exactly disgraced in the Guineas either, it was his first run of the season, and it was also a step up in trip.
I might be making excuses, but I just can't pass up bottle (2/1) for a horse which, although behind Wichita last time, has achieved a lot more at the top level and is still considered over half a stone superior.
The best-value bet of the day is in the Coventry Stakes (1.50), where the Mark Johnston-trained Qaader is chalked up at 5/1 early doors. Obviously, in a race like this where each horse has only ran once before, you need to proceed with caution - but the selection's victory at Newbury last week looked something out of the ordinary, forging clear in the final furlong to beat Running Back by four lengths. Not only that, the horse which finished third, Perotto, won a maiden on Monday. .
Another one at a decent price is Hello Youmzain, priced around 4/1 for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (3.35), with Sceptical trading around 11/4. Kevin Ryan's four-year-old won at the top level at Haydock last term, but his latest outing didn't go so well where he finished mid-division in the Champions Sprint Stakes here back in October. I'm willing to overlook that effort as he went to the front a little too early.
Denis Hogan's Sceptical will have Dettori on board and it's incredible that the highest-rated sprinter in Ireland cost just £2,800. He's well bred and was originally a Godolphin animal but had breathing problems so was sold cheaply to James McAuley, Hogan and a couple of others in what could turn out to be one of the decade's best buys.
Two other bets I'd recommend are Quadrilateral at 5/2 or thereabouts in the Coronation Stakes (2.25) for and More Beautiful, which is also 5/2 for the Queen Mary Stakes (1.15).