Fabulous fences to enjoy on a wonderful winter Saturday
For those of us who love watching quality racing over quality fences this truly is an afternoon to savour.
There is nothing quite like, and nothing to match, action over the Grand National fences. Today we have it.
The spruce is in place at Aintree, and Becher's Brook, the Chair and the Canal Turn await the runners in an excellent renewal of the Betfred Becher Chase - which features last season's Grand National second The Last Samuri plus 2015 Becher winner Highland Lodge - and the Grand Sefton.
Sandown's fences look more conventional but they take some jumping and always make for splendid entertainment, never more so than when the two-milers are in town. This afternoon they are, with Sire De Grugy seeking a Betfair Tingle Creek Chase hat-trick against stablemate Ar Mad and Un De Sceaux, just 65 minutes after the marvellously exciting Altior takes in the Racing Post Henry VIII Novices' Chase.
Today's big races
Aintree 12.00: Betfred TV Fillies' Juvenile Hurdle (Listed)
Fairyhouse 12.55: Easyfix Handicap Chase
Aintree 1.35: Betfred Becher Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Sandown 1.55: Racing Post Henry VIII Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
Aintree 2.40: Betfred Lotto "£100K Cash Giveaway" Chase (Listed)
Sandown 2.25: Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts December Handicap Hurdle (Listed)
Sandown 3.00: Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1)
Aintree 3.15: Betfred Grand Sefton Handicap Chase
Chepstow 3.20: Coral Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase
Sandown 3.30: Betfair London National Handicap Chase
Aintree: Mildmay - Good, good to soft in places (watered); hurdles and National - good to soft, good in places (hurdles from good, good to soft in places)
Chepstow: Good, good to soft in places
Fairyhouse: Good to yielding, yielding in places
Sandown: Chase - good to soft, good in places (from good, good to soft in places); Hurdles - good to soft (from good to soft, good in places)
Wetherby: Good to soft
Sandown 1.20: (7) Blue Rambler
Aintree 1.35: (4) Double Ross, (17) Gas Line Boy
Chepstow: 3.20: (4) Mountainous (runs in Sandown 3.30)
Sandown 12.20 Barrd 2-1 (from 9-4 Bet365)
Sandown 12.50: Tullow Tonic 13-2 (from 15-2 general)
Aintree 2.40: Le Mercurey 11-2 (from 13-2 Coral)
Aintree 3.15: Henryville 12 (from 14 BetVictor)
Chepstow 3.20: Buckhorn Timothy 9 (from 12) Bet365