Veterans' chases have quickly built up a popular following, and this is especially true on the punting front as the field sizes are invariably healthy, and double-digit, and lend themselves to decent each-way betting heats as a result.
Of course, it helps when 100k is up for grabs as it is with Sandown's 3m handicap chase at 15:00 and sponsors Unibet have also added a nice touch by running this year's renewal in memory of the old-stager Houblon Des Obeaux, who died after a heart attack in the London National here last month.
His sad demise also prompted that contest to be declared void, and the runner-up in that race, Dark Flame, is unsurprisingly one of the market leaders here.
Considering the "winner" Doing Fine gained compensation when winning at Cheltenham last week, Dark Flame has an obvious chance here off a 1lb lower mark, and the course winner will be suited by the drying forecast and the first-time cheek pieces could well help him, too.
He looks to have a solid chance but this looks a much hotter race than the London National, and there is little doubt that the 4/1 favourite Jepeck could prove the one to beat off just 132, with Rex Dingle taking off another 3lb.
In-form Jepeck has everything going for him
Trainer Anthony Honeyball, whose string is ticking along nicely, has targeted this valuable prize for his 11yo all season and he has kept him novice hurdling this winter to protect his handicap mark.
And he has been in great form too, with two wins (the latest under a penalty, from a good sort, at Chepstow last time) and a second from three starts.
A look at his most recent chase start, when a two-and-three-quarter-length second to Takingrisks at Carlisle in March, certainly suggests a mark of 132 could be a gift here.
The winner has since won the Scottish National and the Rehearsal Chase, and is now 18lb higher than he was for that Carlisle win, so Honeyball can't object to his charge having gone up just 5lb over fences since, especially since the third (beaten in a three-way photo last time) was 16 lengths away.
Jepeck's most recent hurdle win at Chepstow suggests he is in the form of his life and this multiple point winner could prove very hard to catch if getting his own way out in front, as the make-up of the field (Abolitionist can lead when on song, but there doesn't look to be much probable pace anywhere else) strongly hints that he will.
I think you have to have him onside, with the only real negative his love for hock-deep ground, which he won't get here. Sandown in January should be plenty soft enough though, even for the most ardent swimmer.
Back him at 4/1 each way, four places. If he stands up I don't expect him to finish out of the frame at the very least.
And add a saver on Wild West Wind
The one I like at a bigger price is Wild West Wind at 17.0 or bigger.
He went off 10/1 for the Welsh National a couple of years ago after winning off a mark off 138 at Chepstow (he went up to 142 after that success), but his season rather fell apart after a fall there.
However, he had nearly a year off and he is down to a mark of 134 now on the back of two more encouraging efforts this season, most notably his third at Kelso last time, albeit that wasn't the strongest of races.
That Kelso run also came at a time when the yard were in the middle of a very quiet spell, but they are chugging along a lot better now, so perhaps we can expect more from Wild West Wind here, too.
With the first-time cheek pieces possibly another angle into him (though his trainer is only 1 from 10 with this option since 2016), he is worth a small saver at 17.016/1 or bigger.
The ITV action at Sandown kicks off with the six-runner, near-2m handicap chase at 13:50 in which Darebin bids to follow up his win in the race last year.
He does so off just a 2lb higher mark when beating Capeland by half-a-length in this contest, and comes here on the back of a good third last time too, which was yet another solid performance at his favourite track.
But he could have competition from at least two of his rivals if they want to go forward on him again, and of course the horse that won the race that he was third in last time - and impressive he was, too - was Johnbb, and he re-opposes here. And does so as a deserved favourite.
I couldn't find a bet in the race, and that also applies to the seven-runner Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at 14:25.
It is going to ride very testing on the hurdles track once again, and it promises to be a slow-motion grind for these youngsters, so it could be a case of the survival of the toughest as well as the most talented.
That said, most of these are proven in testing conditions, not least the early favourite Fiddlerontheroof, who won on heavy ground here last time and bids to give Colin Tizzard his third win in the race in the last four years.
If I was forced to play in the contest then the Irish mare Jeremys Flame could be the one at around 10/1 getting the sex allowance, but it all looks far too tricky to me.
Take a chance on John Constable
If Gunnery handles the ground and doesn't get embroiled in a battle for the lead - and that is a fair if when you are backing him at around 11/4 in a pretty deep handicap - then you suspect he will take all the beating in the 15:35.
A switch to front-running tactics paid dividends at Doncaster last time - he had earlier proved far too keen when held up - and he duly bolted up. A 6lb penalty means he can still race off just 121 here, and that obviously means he remains very well-treated, even before you consider he was rated 98 on the Flat back in 2016.
But the ground and pace competition would worry you - dual course winner Totterdown is a confirmed front-runner, and Blu Cavalier is another who can race prominently - and I am going to take a chance on John Constable off a rapidly-falling mark of 127.
He was rated 156 at his peak and, although he would probably prefer better ground, the Betfair Sportsbook initially put him in as their 33/1 outsider on Friday morning and that looked plain wrong to me.
It was, as he was promptly cut to 20/1.
I thought he shaped as if better was still in the locker at Exeter after a summer break, and again at Cheltenham last time, and he has been dropped another 5lb for those efforts.
His creeping style could prove very effective in a strongly-run race on deep ground here, where the long straight is in his favour, and I can see him being produced late under a quiet ride from his 7lb claimer.
It is also worth noting that he finished within two lengths of Buveur D'Air in the Contenders Hurdle in soft ground at this track in February 2018, getting just 2lb, and he is clearly thrown-on if coming back to within a stone of his best. Back him at 26.025/1 or bigger.
Sir Ivan looks a bet at Wincanton
Two of the three ITV races at Wincanton have attracted less than eight runners, which is a shame.
First up on the main box is the seven-runner 1m7f149yd handicap chase at 14:05 in which Paul Nicholls' Saintemilion heads the market at around the 15/8 mark.
That's probably a fair-enough shout after his course-and-distance second on Boxing Day but Flying Tiger could be very hard to beat if he puts it all in on his favourite track off a mark of just 127.
A reproduction of his best hurdles form, and indeed his Newton Abbot chase second to Highway One O One two seasons ago, would surely see him scoot up.
But he is a tricky one to call right and hasn't won since the 2017 Fred Winter, so I can probably just about leave him alone at around 6/1, even in such a winnable race as this. He was fairly lack-lustre over hurdles at Huntingdon last time, after all.
The five-runner handicap chase at 15:15 doesn't do a great deal for me either - I'd side with As De Mee at around 3s at a push, with 7lb claimer-of-the-moment Bryan Carver on board, as I think the step down in trip will suit - but surely the 11-runner 2m5f handicap hurdle at 14:40 can offer something up?
I've been watching Incredible Cave all season but he has shown nothing of any note to warrant enthusiasm here, even off his falling mark, but Sir Ivan looks a bet at 11.010/1 or bigger.
It takes a leap of faith to tip the inconsistent Sir Ivan too, especially as he ran poorly here last time out in November.
But perhaps not was all well there considering his subsequent absence and the handicapper has done him a massive favour by dropping him 3lb, which allows him get into this 0-130 off top weight.
He was previously going perfectly well when making a mistake and unshipping his rider three out at Plumpton and he will go very close to winning this if returning to the form of Exeter second off a 4lb higher mark last season.
The first-time cheek pieces are another noteworthy angle too, as Harry Fry is five from 20 in recent years with this headgear option (and seven from 17 with his runners since Boxing Day) and Sir Ivan looks a win-only play on a track where he has finished placed twice in four outings in the past.