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The 2012 John Smith’s Grand National – live on the BBC from 1pm

The Grand National Festival will come to a climax today when the John Smith’s Grand National comes live the famous Aintree race course in Liverpool.

Clare Balding will present coverage of the 165th running of the most famous horse race in the world, over a course which includes such renowned landmarks as Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn and the Chair.

Four and a half miles and 30 fences stand between racing’s bravest horses and jockeys, and one of the most cherished prizes in sport.

The McCain name was already a long established part of Aintree folklore before Ballabriggs triumphed in 2011, and it was a victory which gave trainer Donald McCain his first Grand National success.

Donald’s father Ginger trained the legendary Red Rum to three wins and two runner-up spots. He also won the race with Amberleigh House in 2004.

On the biggest race day, Clare Balding will be joined at Aintree by Rishi Persad, former Grand National winning jockeys Mick Fitzgerald and Richard Dunwoody, Richard Pitman, John Parrott and Gary Wiltshire.

Race commentary comes from Jim McGrath, Ian Bartlett and Darren Owen.

Grand National Day – 14th April, BBC One, 1pm

1:45pm John Smith’s Mersey Novices’ Hurdle

2:15pm John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase

2:50pm John Smith’s Dick Francis Aintree Hurdle

3:25pm John Smith’s Handicap Chase

4:15pm John Smith’s GRAND NATIONAL..

Updated: Saturday 14 April 2012