Updated: Jan 26
With David Davis firing the starting gun last week in Boris Johnson's face, here is the form guide to the motley selection of reprobates seeking to be first to the finish line and become Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. There are plenty of nags who think they are the favourite, but in our opinion the field is wide open:
Alexander De Pfeffel, 2-1 on: very different from the current leader, switches horse every furlong or so, rides in changing colours throughout, claims to 'get it done' but has tendency to run in completely the wrong direction and fall straight out of the gate. Likes the going soft - no, even softer than that - unfavoured by the Queen's stable. Yet, astonishingly, odds on favourite.
No one Told me I'm a C*@nt, 1-1 (favourite): Thrives on the gullibility of other runners. Full steward's inquiry launched.
Dishy Rishi, 4-1: Good teeth and a luxuriant mane, but despite his expensive stable it remains to be seen whether this horse can keep up the pace he set over the first furlough in the 2020 Lockdown Challenge Cup.
Truss Me On This, 9-2: Lively filly who shows signs of sharing the 2019 winner Bonkin' Bojo's interest in breeding. Older male punters might fancy a flutter on her, but others might think this one is a bit lightweight.
Pitiless Priti Lass, 10-1: Likes the going rough. Could scare off some of the other riders, but also some of the punters. Might be in with a shot if her plan to deport all the rest of the field comes off.
Gove Actually, 5-1: his swivel eyes and habit of veering all over the track while stabbing other runners in the back could see him in with a chance, if the punters can tolerate that kind of behaviour.
Mogg the Jake, 10-1: out of The Times by The Cayman Islands, this is another product of the Eton stables. Flashes of promise in the Brexit Stakes undermined by tendency to just lie down and go to sleep in unexpected places, and consistently run 200 years behind the rest of the world. On the plus side, understands the racing world's archaic system of guineas, hundredweights and stable slaves better than any other contender.
Follow the Science, 789,000-1: Full of promise but tragically inclined to deviate from the course at a moments notice or fall at the final fence.
Graylings Failings 500-1 - hoping for a better outing than last time, when he turned up to the 330 steeplechase at Chepstow after being entered in the 1215 flat race at Sandown. Ended up finishing 12th in a field of 7.
Hancock's Half Chance - 66-1 Quiet recently after a televised gallop with a filly in a Westminster meeting last year. Known to favour sharing nosebag spoils with as many stablemates as he can.
Javs Jabs - benefitted from being stabled with Boosters Millions in last 6 months. 30 million outings, still seeing some refusals though. Looks more confident when running alongside Whitty's Wish and Vallence's Lad.
Raab He Burns, 20-1: despite being the only Dominic that 2019's winner is still on speaking terms with, this one is a rank outsider, not likely to turn up to the correct venue or even be aware that the race is on.
Stewart's Inquiry, 100-1: technically ineligible to enter the race due to not currently being an MP, this horse still has its fans and has proved it's staying power, even if it mostly goes at walking pace rather than running. Doesn't suffer from frothing at the mouth as much as many of the other contenders, which in this particular race is a disadvantage.
Nosebag Full of Merlot, 10-1: Always slow and unsteady out the gate. Liable to claim the race is a work event at some point and prior to reaching the finish line.
Ghost of Thatcher, 2-1: forever haunting the other runners, this remains the punters' favourite, despite the technical difficulties involved in summoning the spirits of the dead and the impossibility of weighing in an incorporeal phantom.
Finally, bad news for many who put their money on the bookies' first favourite, Larry the Downing Street cat. Larry has withdrawn from the race, now that Dominic Cummings has revealed that Larry neglected his duties in lockdown, just sleeping and licking his arse while a gang of rats partied in the garden.
Contributions from Sir Lupus, SteveB, Chrisf, Frank Optional and oshaughnessy