A trio of trainers have carved up the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap between them since the turn of the century, claiming nine of the 15 renewals.
Chief among them is Sir Michael Stoute, who has struck four times in the last decade including the past two winners, Opinion and Arab Spring.
However, perhaps in order to give his comrades in the training ranks a chance, Stoute has neglected to enter a runner in 2015.
Excellent news for Mark Johnston and Hughie Morrison, who have been responsible for saddling the victors of a further five post-millennial editions of this 1m4f test.
The latter is double handed this year with Watersmeet and Sennockian Star the mounts of Joe Fanning and Silvestre de Sousa respectively.
Morrison, meanwhile, is represented by shot Arab Dawn.
There are precious few trends with which to divide the trio, but the fact that ten of the last 20 runnings have gone the way of last time out winners, from 25% of the competitors helps narrow it down.
The trend rules out Arab Dawn, who was only third on his seasonal debut in May.
Leaving us with just the two Johnston runners, the recent dominance of four-year-olds in the race highlights Fanning’s mount Watersmeet as the King of Stats’ selection.
Animals of that vintage have won eight of the last ten editions and occupied the first eight positions in last year’s running and six of initial seven past the post in 2013.
Hovering at around the 10/1 mark it would be a vote of confidence, trends wise, if Watersmeet were to be sent off second, third or fourth favourite.
No fewer than 12 of the last 25 runnings have gone the way of the trio occupying those places in the market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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