Fame And Glory will face eight rivals when he defends his crown in the Gold Cup (4000m) at Royal Ascot on Thursday.
The multiple Group 1 winner successfully took up the mantle from Aidan O'Brien's star stayer Yeats when winning the two-and-a-half-mile feature 12 months ago.
The six-year-old subsequently went on to land the inaugural British Champions Long Distance Cup at the same track and made a winning return in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.
The pair likely to give the hot favourite most to think about hail from the Godolphin team.
Mahmood Al Zarooni's Opinion Poll was second to Fame And Glory a year ago and has made an excellent start to the new campaign, landing the Dubai Gold Cup and the Henry II Stakes at Sandown on his return to Britain.
However, Frankie Dettori has deserted him, opting to ride Colour Vision instead with Mickael Barzalona coming in for the plum ride on Opinion Poll.
Dettori's agent, Ray Cochrane, said: "It was Frankie's decision. It's taken a while for him to make up his mind but he has decided to go with the younger horse as he thinks he has improved a lot from last year. It's going to be a great race. I think we all hope it's run on decent ground."
Colour Vision made a most impressive debut for Saeed bin Suroor in the rearranged Sagaro Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton and is another major player.
John Oxx's Doncaster Cup winner Saddler's Rock is expected to improve significantly for his recent return at Leopardstown, while the consistent Gulf Of Naples takes a significant step up in grade for Mark Johnston.
Askar Tau, Bridge Of Gold, Caucus and Nehaam complete the line-up.
The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2), one mile and a half (2400m), 3.05pm
Several beaten fillies in the Investec Oaks will aim for compensation in Thursday's Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Fugue, who many thought was unlucky in the Classic after meeting trouble in running as the beaten favourite, is again likely to be well fancied for the John Gosden team.
She finished just behind Oaks runner-up Shirocco Star, who renews rivalry.
Just behind those two was William Haggas' previously unbeaten Vow, who was reportedly unsuited by Epsom.
Other beaten in the Oaks turning up again include Godolphin's Kailani, once again ridden by Mickael Barzalona, the Ralph Beckett-trained Colima and Aidan O'Brien's Twirl, who will be partnered by Ryan Moore.
Chances of a Royal winner rest with Michael Bell's Momentary, who beat Shirocco Star in a trial at Newbury.
Pink Damsel was impressive when winning her maiden, while Princess Highway had Oaks heroine Was behind her when she claimed the Blue Wind Stakes.
Chella Thriller, Dinvar Diva, Hazel Lavery, Inchina and Salford Art complete the 14-runner field.
The remainder of the card
The other Group 2 race on the card is the five-furlong (1000m) Norfolk Stakes at 2.30pm, in which Aussie jockey Craig Williams teams up with his former trainer Mick Channon to ride Cay Verde, a hat-trick seeking course and distance winner.
The Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes, run over 10 furlongs (2000m) at 5pm, has attracted international interest in the shape of German 2,000 Guineas fourth Energizer.
Thirty runners line up for the one-mile (1600m) Britannia Stakes at 4.25pm, and the other handicap is the closing King George V Stakes, run over a mile and a half (2400m) at 5.35pm.