Winners have been aged five (5), six (3) and seven (2).
Winners have carried between 9-11 and 11-10 with seven between 9-11 and 10-8. Winners have been rated between 125 and 148 with seven between 128 and 141. Winners have been priced between 4-1 and 16-1 with four successful at the latter price. Two favourites have been successful with one other placed. Seven winners finished in the first four on their preceding start. Winners had run between four and nine times in the preceding season and up to this race; only one hadn't won during that time. No winner had had more than 12 career starts over hurdles. Eight winners were novices and one a second season hurdler. Nine winners had either won or been placed in a contest rated class 1 or 2. Eight winners had started their racing career on the flat, four had ratings around 100. All of the winners ran at one of the Festivals at Cheltenham, Aintree, Fairyhouse and Ayr. Three of the last six winners contested the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh earlier in the season.
All The Aces: Has the right profile for the Swinton
There is usually a fairly simple formula to be employed in finding the winner of this race with ex-Flat horses who are in the formative stages of their hurdling careers boasting an excellent record. Two of the last three winners have been aged seven and three from that age group make plenty of appeal here with Charm School, All The Aces (representing the same connections as Eradicate who has won the last two renewals) and Red Merlin.
Donald McCain's charge was widely touted for this race last year only not to make the line-up and it would be no great surprise if this had been the plan ever since; he travelled strongly in the Scottish Champion Hurdle only to be outstayed and looks a leading player but a more sporting selection is Nicky Henderson's runner who may possibly prove to be more effective on this ground.
He was rather disappointing at Aintree but may have needed the outing over a trip that may stretch him and he's on a fair mark of the pick of his early efforts over hurdles.