Join Together: should be suited to the National fences according to NichollsPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Join Together out to give Nicholls fourth Becher
CHAMPION trainer Paul Nicholls will bid to continue his golden run of Saturday successes in the Betfred Becher Chase at Aintree after Join Together was revealed among 23 entries for the Grand National trial on Monday.
The sponsors reacted by making the seven-year-old their clear 8-1 favourite, although Problema Tic, Ballabriggs, Alfie Sherrin and West End Rocker are all snapping at his heels at 9-1.
Nicholls said: "He's in good form and will run in the Becher. I was a bit disappointed with him at Ascot but hopefully with different fences and a different day, he will do better.
"I don't think he is particularly well handicapped but he will probably be suited by the fences and, if he is, I will give him an entry in the John Smith's Grand National."
Nicholls is seeking his fourth victory in the race following Silver Birch (2004), Eurotrek (2006) and Mr Pointment (2007).
David Pipe could rely on Problema Tic and Swing Bill, and said: "Swing Bill ran in the race last year (when pulled-up) and is not getting any younger but he ran in the John Smith's Grand National and seems to like Aintree, though I wouldn't want the ground too soft for him. He is an intended runner at this stage.
"Problema Tic may also run but he is another who does not want conditions too soft. I was pleased with him at Cheltenham on his comeback."
The going on the National course was on Monday described as soft and the track's clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch did not rule out the possibility of conditions worsening before Saturday.