SOLE Power will not bid for a third victory in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot tomorrow (Tuesday).
The Edward Lynam-trained veteran, winner of the five-furlong Group 1 in 2013 and 2014, has been withdrawn on account of unsuitable ground.
In contrast, the recent rain has been in Mecca's Angel's favour and her trainer Michael Dods feels she is "the one to beat".
The five-year-old mare was due to line up as a major contender 12 months ago, only to be withdrawn on the day due to the prevailing fast ground.
Connections have no such concerns this time around after rain hit Berkshire over the weekend and Dods expects his stable star to improve from her narrow defeat on her seasonal reappearance in last month's Temple Stakes at Haydock.
"We took a chance last year in Ireland and it showed she doesn't have that gear (on fast ground) which you need to win big races. When she gets her ground she can," said the Darlington-based trainer.
"We feel she's in great form, but we're in against proper horses, it won't be easy.
"She'd been out for nine months when she ran in the Temple and it was too soft for a horse coming back from such a long break. She will definitely come on for the run.
"I respect Acapulco and Goldream has a big chance if it dries up, but we are confident of a good run. We are the one to beat."
American challenger Acapulco won the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last year before chasing home Mecca's Angel in the Nunthorpe at York, and had been a major fancy for this, but the rain-affected conditions have also ruled her out.
Trainer Wesley Ward had been looking forward to the rematch, but the prospect of rain-softened ground has prompted him to withdraw the chesnut, who races for a Coolmore conglomerate. Acapulco holds an entry in the Grade 1 Commonwealth Cup on Friday and Ward is hoping conditions improve between now and then.
“The ground is just a little too soft for her to run in the King’s Stand,” Ward said. “We’ll see how we are looking on Friday. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to run, but we’ll have to wait and see. It’s disappointing. You can plan everything and do everything you can, but when Mother Nature gets involved there’s nothing you can do.
“If she doesn’t run on Friday, I’ll have to sit down with the Coolmore boys and come up with another plan.”