We have quality National Hunt cards on offer up and down the country this coming Saturday, with this seven race offering from Ascot in addition to the big National Trial at Haydock. It is late Cheltenham clues which are the order of the day in Berkshire though, particularly in the Grade 1 headline event.

Whilst many racing fans will have already started their Cheltenham countdown – only 32 days to go! – it mustn’t be forgotten that we have plenty of quality racing action on offer in the interim. A prime example comes at Newbury this coming Saturday as the track hosts its, not to be missed, Super Saturday card.

The jumps season has certainly found its stride now and there is no sign of the pace slacking off this coming weekend. Haydock has its own attractions – with a couple of Cheltenham Trials being of particular interest – but the best card of the day comes here at Ascot.

Leopardstown’s cracking four-day Christmas Festival comes to a thrilling conclusion this coming Friday with a seven-race card featuring two top class Grade 1 contests. The pick of the duo is this two-mile event for the hurdlers. Won three times by the all-time great, Hurricane Fly, the market is headed this year by another Willie Mullins runner who is well on the way to cementing his place in racing legend, Faugheen.

It’s not long before children all over the world wake up full of excitement on Christmas morning. For horse racing fans though, Christmas is about much more than one day. The standard of racing at this time of year is sky high and one of the most popular meetings takes place at Ascot this weekend.

Ascot’s most lucrative day of National Hunt racing takes place this Saturday and the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle is one of the stars of the show. There are nine entries for the three mile, one furlong contest and it’s Unowhatimeanharry who leads the field as he looks for back to back victories in this high class affair.

Cheltenham Course clerk Simon Claisse has been in little doubt that this race will take place on Saturday despite the track being covered in 25mm of snow earlier in the week. It would have been a huge shame to have seen this two mile, one furlong race cancelled. The Grade 2 event is one of the major trial races for the Champion Hurdle and there are some top quality hurdlers present for this year’s renewal.

We return to the home of the National Hunt game for the pick of this week’s jumping action. The highlight of an excellent card at Cheltenham on Saturday – at least from a betting perspective – is this 2m5f contest for the handicap chasers. 17 fences lie between this year’s competitors and a share of £120,000 in total prize money, but who will emerge victorious?

The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase typically features a small field and this renewal is no exception with just the five runners declared for the near two mile contest. With Grade 1 status, this race stands as the big supporting player to the Tingle Creek Chase which runs later in the afternoon. Brain Power is set to begin the race as the favourite but he’s far from the only talented name in the mix.

Aintree’s Becher Chase Day is sure to bring in a good crowd to the Merseyside course and the final event on the racecard is the Class 2 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase. With heavy going forecast, the two mile, five furlong race is going to be a rather gruelling one for the 11 horses set to be involved. On top of the testing ground there are 18 stiff fences to clear around the left-handed track.