Trying to predict the winner of a 30-runner race is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
But unlike the English Grand National at Aintree, the Irish Grand National has a number of discernible form trends.
The form, the weights and the official ratings should provide a rough guide when making your selection for the 3m 5f slog.
After identifying the first two home in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, we’ve tried our hand at picking the winner of the Irish National.
Based on three key form trends, here’s what we’ve come up with…
Eight of the last 10 winners have carried between 10st and 11st
Weights tend to be quite important in this race. Our Duke won last year carrying 11-04 to become the first 11st+ winner since 2000.
Only three runners have succeeded below 10st since 1986, while Flashing Steel was the last 12st winner in 1995.
Using those two rules, we can cross off Bellshill (11-2), Squouateur (9-7), Oscar Knight (9-8), Isleofhopendreams (9-12) and Joseph O’Brien’s Arkwrisht (9-9).
Another we can get shot of is Outlander. The 2017 Irish Champion Hurdle winner is top weight in the contest for Gordon Elliott at 11-7.
Seven of the last 10 winners have been aged seven or eight-years-old
Age is a crucial factor in finding the winner at Fairyhouse. Only one six-year-old has triumphed since 1985 – Organisedconfusion in 2011.
Ten-year-old charges fare a little better but are still best steered clear of. Only three have passed the post first since 1996. No 11-year-old has won since 1997.
So we’re looking towards the seven or eight-year-olds as the ones to stay the 3m 5f trip.
That rules out the 11-year-old Folsom Blue for Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins’ runner Pairofbrowneyes.
Kemboy, Moulin A Vent and the veteran 13-year-old Bless The Wings also bite the dust from our shortlist.
Seven of the last 10 winners had an Official Rating between 131 and 140
The rating of horses who win the Irish National tends to be fairly consistent.
There have been a few anomalies in recent years but 131-140 remains the golden mark over the last decade.
That means you can chalk off Elliott pair Monbeg Notorious and Dounikos, as well as Kim Muir runner-up Mall Dini.
Snow Falcon for Noel Meade is also added to the pile with a mark of 149.
That leads us to the Elliot-trained JETSTREAM JACK.
By the trainer’s own admission, the eight-year-old didn’t run particularly well at Leopardstown last time out.
However, that was the selection’s first run in almost a year. And he’ll be better for it.
With blinkers added for the first time, there’s a feeling that there could be more to come from the son of Beneficial.
Add in that he’s one from one at Fairyhouse and we think that Jetstream Jack has the ability to outrun his odds in a race where, like it’s English counterpart, lively longshots have been known to cause a surprise.
Find out all the latest Irish Grand National odds at Ladbrokes!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.