Melbourne Cup weights are due to be announced on Tuesday afternoon and European-trained or bred horses are expected to be at or near the top of the handicap for Australia's greatest race.
However there is one unlikely candidate who will hope to sneak into the field from what will inevitably be a very low mark indeed.
And if the horse in question – High Bridge – can secure a spot come the first Tuesday in November then plenty of heads will be scratched in racing yards in England, Ireland, France and Germany.
High Bridge is one of the most left-field potential Cup candidates we have seen in a long time.
For a start, until he won a lowly benchmark 70 race for Chris Waller at Canterbury on his Australian debut in late August, he had only had one proper flat race in his life – despite being eight.
Terry Henderson's OTI group bought a 50 per cent share in the galloper from his one-time trainer and major owner, John Ferguson – until recently a senior figure in Sheikh Mohammed's global Godolphin empire – knowing full well that he was far better known as a hurdler who normally contested races over jumps on mud-spattered tracks through the English winter.
But Henderson – who almost grabbed Cup glory with the diminutive Bauer, narrowly beaten by Bart Cummings' Viewed in the 2008 race – knew that a genuine stayer would have a great chance of running at least in the top 10 in the Melbourne Cup if he could make the field.
And he also knew that jump horses could succeed in this country on the flat.
After all, in 2016 the former hurdler and steeplechaser Qewy was brought to Melbourne by Charlie Appleby to test the waters.
Godolphin's ex-jumper turned out to be a real moneyspinner, winning the Geelong Cup and the Sandown Cup and finishing fourth in the Melbourne Cup in between.
Qewy had at least won in listed company on the level as a young horse in Ireland and been competitive in grade 3 company, so there was evidence of flat ability in his back catalogue.
High Bridge, in contrast, had only ever contested one proper flat race in his life before arriving in Waller's Sydney yard, a 2400 metre maiden on a heavy track at Thirsk in the north of England two and a half years ago.
Before that his only experience in races without obstacles was when he ran in what are known as ''bumper'' races in England and Ireland – flat events for jumps-bred horses who have never taken part in conventional flat races. Barriers are never used in such contests.
It's certainly an unusual background, so Henderson is not expecting High Bridge to be among the heavyweights on Tuesday despite his European heritage. But he is optimistic he can make his presence felt in Australia this spring.
''He had raced 13 times over jumps for five wins. He's a 148-rated hurdler but was still a maiden on the flat until the other day,'' said Henderson.
''But he won at Canterbury like a good horse. He will have a nice soft race at Warwick Farm the week after next and if he gets through that we will step up. He's a Lexus horse so he would have to win that to get into the Cup field.
''It's not essential that it happens this year, he's lightly raced and very healthy, but he's a great stayer.''
Michael Lynch, The Age's expert on soccer, has had extensive experience of high level journalism in the UK and Australia. Michael has covered the Socceroos through Asia, Europe and South America in their past three World Cup campaigns. He has also reported on Grands Prix and top class motor sport from Asia and Europe. He has won several national media awards for both sports and industry journalism.