The Irish, so it would seem, have stolen a march already on the English - and Cheltenham has not yet started.
A glance at the results from yesterday's meeting at Stratford reveals that the contingent from the Emerald Isle is already making its presence felt here.
Alvechurch trainer Ian Williams was at the Warwickshire track to see one of the Irish victories that he hopes does not herald a sweep of winners at Cheltenham this week.
Stratford invariably attracts several Irish runners and it was no surprise that one of them, Baron De Feypo, secured victory in the ianwilliamsracing.com Handicap Hurdle, coming from off the pace to beat Say What You See by two lengths.
Baron de Feypo (10-1) was coolly ridden by Martin Mooney, who said: "Over this distance I needed a strong pace and that's just what he got, but I think Patrick O'Brady (the trainer) has been reported missing in action!"
Williams said: "I hope we don't see too much of them [the Irish horses] for the rest of the week.
"There is certainly a friendly rivalry between the English and Irish during the festival. It would be good to see some winners from the home team but they have assembled a very strong raiding party this year. I think some of the major prizes will be heading back over the Irish Sea."
Here Williams, who is likely to have four horses running this week, offers his views on the key races of today.
The Champion Hurdle
"It is quite possible the Irish will have already been having a good day by the time we get to the Champion Hurdle. They have a strong hand in this race with the first six in the betting.
"The former champion Rooster Booster, probably sets the standard for the English horses and, at 14-1, would not be the biggest surprise to see running into a place. He represents a small bet each way.
"The winner is almost certain to be Irish. Macs Joy is a very straightforward horse and will be well-suited by the track."
The Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase
"This could be a really good day for the Irish as this race too looks to be at their mercy. War of Attrition has been very well touted for this race. His undoing is likely to be his lack of experience over our fences more than his ability. Personally, I think his ability will overcome his lack of experience. If he were to struggle with the fences, then Contraband could be one to beat him."
The Supreme Novices Hurdle
"The first race of the day and Akshar could show improvement on what is likely to be good ground. He was a good performer last season on the flat for Michael Stoute. He was beaten behind the likely favourite, Justified, last time out but the conditions were probably far too soft for him. A horse with flat ability like his must be in with a real chance at good value."
The Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
"Our only representative for the day is At Your Request in the final race on the card. He'll do well if he can get into the race and has a nice position in the handicap - for me he is far better value at 33-1 than Papini who is one of the favourites and beat him by only half-a-length at Newbury earlier in the season.
"While it is very difficult for At Your Request to win because there is certain to be be a well handicapped horse or two in the race, I would not be surprised to see him running for a place."