The stayers take centre stage on the final day of York’s May meeting, with the Group Two Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup the feature race.
Eight horses go to post for this one mile, 5 ½ furlong contest, with a fascinating mixture of generations.
Stradivarius made his mark last year, when landing the Goodwood Cup from Big Orange, at just three years of age.
John Gosden’s runner later ran third to Capri in the St Leger and perhaps sets the mark tomorrow.
Count Octave was another more than useful representative from last year’s Classic crop. He landed a Wolverhampton contest before finishing third to the smart Defoe, in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.
“It was a muddling race and not run to suit,” said Balding.
“There’s obviously no way he would have beaten Defoe, anyway, but I felt if maybe we’d made a little bit more use of him, he would have been second.
“At the same time, if he’d done that we might not have been able to run (13 days later) in the Yorkshire Cup.
“It certainly has not taken an edge off him. The extra two furlongs will suit and I think it’s a track will suit him as well.
“The faster the ground, the better and I’d hope he will run a decent race.”
Meanwhile, the globe-trotting Max Dynamite returns to the scene of his biggest flat win in the 2015 Lonsdale Cup.
The Willie Mullins eight year old has placed in the last two Melbourne Cup’s and raced at the Cheltenham Festival and Punchestown Festival since.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “Max Dynamite has been a bit disappointing over hurdles, but he’s probably just not in love with them and he also wants proper fast ground.
“It looks like conditions at York will play to his strengths and hopefully he’ll bounce back to form.”
Max Dynamite will be partnered by Ryan Moore in Friday’s one-mile-six-furlong feature.
Mullins also fields the former Irish St Leger and Punchestown Champion Hurdle winner Wicklow Brave, the mount of Andrea Atzeni.
Mullins commented: “Wicklow Brave ran a blinder in Punchestown. The ground on the Friday was probably as soft as it was all week and he’s another that wants better ground to be seen at his best.
“With Wicklow, a lot depends what side of the bed he gets out of. He’s not getting any younger, but he retains plenty of ability and hopefully he’ll continue to pay his way.”
The Queen was victorious in last year’s Yorkshire Cup with Dartmouth – and she will be represented again this year, by the William Haggas-trained Call To Mind.
The trainer said: “He’s in great shape, I’m really pleased with him. He’s come out of the race at Newbury really well and I hope he can run well. He needs racing now and he needs a trip, too.
“I was a little bit disappointed with his run at Newbury, but it didn’t go as planned and he also needed that to blow the cobwebs out, plus he wants further.
“He’s going to get that on Friday and he will go further again (in future) I’m sure.”
Peter Niven’s 2016 Yorkshire Cup winner Clever Cookie, is back again, but perhaps the ground will be on the fast side for him, while David Elsworth’s Desert Skyline and On To Victory from Eve Johnson Houghton’s yard complete the eight-strong field.