The 12th running of the Dr. Who Regeneration Chase has been announced and the runners and riders are now in.
Previous winner Matt Smith has vacated his title, choosing to concentrate on America, leaving this renewal wide-open.
The winner of the race will join previous champions such as Tom Baker, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant in receiving free accommodation in a 1970s phone box (more spacious than it appears from the outside), a passport to travel freely throughout the universe and an unlimited supply of hats, scarves and bow ties.
A few distinct trends throughout this contest’s 50-year history could enable formbook analysts to get a step ahead of the crowd.
For starters, 100% of the previous winners have been male, raising doubt over Helen Mirren (20/1), Jennifer Saunders (25/1) and Miranda Hart’s (33/1) chances.
Secondly, a tendency towards older winners has given way to younger selections in recent years bringing Dan Stevens (12/1) and the Harry Potter trained Daniel Radcliffe (14/1) into the equation.
In terms of experience, Ben Daniels (4/1) who peaked in Law & Order UK, and Rory Kinnear (5/1), who rose to prominence in a pair of recent James Bond movies, both boast lengthy bodies of work and know the distance.
While, Benedict Cumberbatch (12/1) is sure to be heavily backed by female admirers, rumours of film commitments and the future pursuit of transatlantic riches should be noted.
However, after impressing greatly in the hugely successful Homeland series, David Harewood is the current favourite with a price of 3/1. A long career has seen the Londoner make countless appearances in British classics such as Minder, The Bill and Casualty and he now appears to be ready for a step up to the big time.
Further afield, the chances of Hugh Lawrie (50/1), Bill Bailey (50/1) and James Corden (50/1) can easily be ‘exterminated’ from consideration.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing