It’s the question on everyone’s mind. Which of Saturday’s 40 runners is going to win the John Smith’s Grand National? If I told you that a Cambridge University maths guru has devised a formula which he thinks can pinpoint the winner in this years race you’d probably be interested to know which horse he picked?

Before you get too excited I’m wasn’t overly impressed with his formula. I was expecting to see reams of stats on past runs, course form and scientific analysis of every aspect of horses performance but instead Cambridge University Academic Mr Hartson just examined the names of all the winning horses in the last 174 years and devised a scoring system based around the frequency of letters appearing in the winners monikers!

The approach seems no more scientific than sticking a pin in the racecard and as the story first appeared in Daily Mail I suspect it can be taken with a large pinch of salt, I even checked the date of publication (2nd April) as I was convinced that this was a good April Fools joke!

If you’re still reading at this point then you probably want to know which horse this system pinpointed? Well, I can tell you that the letters which appear most often in Grand National winners names are S, R, M or C and it’s more common for a winner to have a one word name – using this system the horse likely to win this years National is SEABASS, according to Mr Hartson.

In a strange twist of fate Seabass is also one of the horses we are tipping up for the race! He is also tipped by the BBC racing journalist Cornelius Lysaght as well as trainer Jenny Pitman, so maybe the system does work after all! If you’d like to see all the horses we think will run a big race in Saturday’s showcase at Aintree check out our tips page.