The analysis that generally follows the reveal of the Grand National weights can often been very in dept and accurate, but also jargon-loaded and difficult to understand if you're just a once-a-year punter who likes to have a flutter on the big race day.
It's a statistics game and one where if you do your homework right, you may just be able to determine who's got the biggest advantage going into the Grand National which of course can often mean a better chance of winning.
This year, Tidal Bay tops the weights and though connections have been vocal about their satisfaction at the 11-10 he's been given, though realistically he couldn't actually have been given any more due to the regulations of the race which cap the maximum weight a horse can carry at 11-10, it appears that he's not the most favourably handicapped horse after the figures have been adjusted.
Timeform, the leading horse racing ratings experts, have announced that the Rebecca Curtis-trained Teaforthree tops their weight-adjusted figures.
Phil Turner of Timeform commented: “Of course, much can change between now and April 5th, as plenty have probably been protecting their handicap marks until the National weights were announced.
“But Teaforthree looked an Aintree natural last year and is likely to make solid each-way appeal even if a few better-handicapped rivals were to emerge before the big day.”
That's probably why he's as short as 12/1 in the betting markets despite being weeks away from the race.
Surprisingly, Long Run is still available at 20/1 ante-post and this is starting to look like a very savvy each-way betting opportunity. Not only is his win/place rate the best in the competition, but it's also widely believed that the 2011 Gold Cup winner has been treated very favourably by the handicapper, not least because he's having a less-than-perfect season so far.
Turner said “It was a similar scenario with the last Gold Cup winner who went on to claim National glory, 1975 victor L'Escargot (who, like Long Run, also wore headgear latterly), whilst it is worth bearing in mind that Long Run's amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen can boast one of the best records over the National fences amongst current riders.”