Grand National clues could be aplenty at Gowran Park, with the Thyestes Chase set to take centre stage on Thursday.
Both Hedgehunter and Numbersixvalverde have taken the race in the last 11 years en route to landing the Aintree showpiece three months later.
Could we have another winner on Merseyside amongst this year’s field? Perhaps, but first we must find the winner at the County Kilkenny track.
And using the power of numbers, we have been able to crank all the important trends and stats to pick you out one or two that are set for a big showing.
Here are some digits to point you in the right direction:
19 – Just one winner in the last 20 years has won this race having not won over 3m previously
13 – The last 13 winners had previously run in no more than seven handicap chases
11 – Of the last 14 winners of the race 11 carried 10-09 or less to victory
9 – Gigginstown House Stud have run nine horses in this race in the last five years, five of them made the places
8 – Eight of the last 10 winners won or were placed in either of their two previous starts
7 – Seven of the last eight winners were rated 124 or higher
6 – Six of the last 10 victors were first or second season chasers – the other four had previously placed in the race
5 – The last five horses to win this contest raced up with the pace
One horse that meets every one of these trends and thus jumping off the page at us is Rogue Angel.
Mouse Morris’ charge has only won once over fences in 14 runs, but has put in some decent performances nonetheless.
He was seventh, though only beaten 4½l in the 4m contest at the Cheltenham Festival last year, and was game in defeat to Potrait King last time out.
However, take away the Gigginstown angle, and only one other runner ticks the remaining boxes.
And this one has some steady form in big handicap chases.
Preference goes for Michael Hourigan’s THE JOB IS RIGHT, who still looks unexposed as a chaser.
In his five runs over fences he has finished a good fourth in the Paddy Power Chase at Christmas, beaten a Willie Mullins hot-pot last time out, and got within 1½l of last year’s Albert Bartlett winner Very Wood.
The seven-year-old has winning form on ground with plenty of give in it and got was only beaten 5l by Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen last year.
Mark Enright seems to get a good tune out of his mount and can be backed with some confidence to put in a good round of jumping.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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