Watching brief . . .
Most bookmakers offer odds on whether Irish or English-trained runners will shade proceedings next week.
The book even has a name these days following the Prestbury Cup initiative launched last year. That is a promotional gimmick that will never take off, but the odds are interesting all the same.
One firm even offers 33/1 that the 27 races are shared evenly, which would require 13 winners apiece and a dead-heat or void race. That is hardly inconceivable, but of more appeal is the 7/2 that can be had about Irish runners shading it.
The raiders' last four tallies were 13, 5, 14 and 12. Given that Willie Mullins is sending the biggest team that he has ever done and that he will be backed up by pretty serious delegations from the likes of Gordon Elliott, Jessica Harrington, Tony Martin and Noel Meade, the odds about an Irish coup look more than fair.