The Epsom Derby may be one of the world's most famous horse races, but to many racegoers the next edition might seem rather a long way off, taking place as it does on June 2nd 2018.
However, this coming weekend will see a new race at Epsom for two-year-olds that will offer the winner a wildcard entry into next year's race.
The £20,000 totepool Conditions Race, which will start at 14:40 BST on Saturday (October 1st), will give the winner the chance to be part of the premier classic race event in Britain - provided the horse has not already been entered as a gelding.
A total of 14 entries have been confirmed for the race, including Dee Ex Bee, trained by Mark Johnson, who won at Glorious Goodwood in early August.
Other confirmed runners include the Charlie Appleby-trained Old Persian from the Godolphin stable, a horse that recently won in a Polytrack novice race in Chelmsford, plus Tadleel, an Ed Dunlop-trained horse that recently won on the all-weather track at Kempton Park.
Lishen Castle is another entrant with a recent novice success, after winning at Hamilton last month.
Describing Lishen Castle as a "grand horse", his Yorkshire-based trainer John Quinn said: "We were going to Ayr with him last Thursday and that wasn't on, so we decided to have a look at this race, especially as he doesn't have a penalty for winning first time out.
"He won on soft, but he doesn't have to run on it - he is a good-moving horse and works well on the Polytrack at home."
The rest of the field will include two Richard Hannon-trained horses - Regimented and Move Over - plus an already-confirmed 2018 Derby entrant, The Revenant, trained by Richard palmer. Two other horses that have won races at Epsom Downs this year - Lynwood Gold and Hollydaze - will also run.
Racegoers making early bookings of corporate hospitality for the Derby will have more chances to see qualifying races in the months ahead.
The winner of the £50,000 Investec Derby Trial at the Investec Spring Meeting on April 25th 2018 will also get an automatic entry.
This year's Derby was won by 40-1 outsider Wings of Eagles, trained by Aiden O'Brien.
Image: Getty, from Keith Prowse subscription