If this was a mere overture, then what kind of crescendo might conceivably be achieved here tomorrow? Within a couple of hours Aintree had saluted perhaps the best performance yet from the most accomplished hurdler of recent seasons, in Big Buck's; and a ride of astounding precocity over the National fences by a schoolboy of just 16. In between, moreover, Denman had been beaten out of sight behind Nacarat – whose success, in turn, provided timely succour for his jockey, Paddy Brennan. Timely, that is, not merely because it was only days ago that he quit his position as stable jockey to Nigel Twiston-Davies; but also because the adolescent who promptly won the John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase showed exactly why things were only going to become more awkward in his old job.
Back to Liverpool, then, and all its familiar conundrums. For one thing, Saturday's big race so consumes public imagination that some of the best jumpers in training tend to find themselves brusquely neglected in the build-up. The meeting opens today, for instance, with a rematch between Big Buck's and Grands Crus, responsible for one of the most absorbing hurdle races of recent seasons at Cheltenham last month. Later on the card, Denman will be offering further proof of his amazing longevity, having just finished runner-up in the Gold Cup for the third time since his 2008 success.
Online retailer The Hut Group is targeting a potential flotation in the spring after completing the latest in a series of acquisitions last week.
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Forget albums – there are better ways to show off snaps. By Kate Watson-Smyth
Glamour model, bestselling author, work-out queen, top perfumier, grooming guru, variably-sized bra wearer, horse enthusiast, not to mention wife and mother of three. Katie Price – still occasionally known as Jordan – is not so much a celebrity as a multi-million-pound brand. Next stop? World domination
Why not take a minute to reflect upon our choice of mirrors?