Vicente the Top Pick of Trainer Nicholls

Currently top of the Trainers Championships and heading for his 11th trainers’ title, Paul Nicholls is hoping that a win in the upcoming Grand National will bring it home for him and while he's clearly eager to see all of his horses do well, he feels that one of them has a slightly higher chance of winning the title for him.

On a rating of 147, and very likely to make the cut this year, Vicente is the one that he feels will be most likely to bring a Grand National victory on April 8th. Despite not regaining the form that saw him win the Scottish National last April, the eight year old put in a valiant effort in the Coral Welsh National to finish in sixth place before heading to Doncaster last time out to also finish in sixth place. A good finish in the Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday 18th would give his National credentials a real boost. At the moment he is a general 33/1 antepost for the Grand National 2017 win.

In total, Nicholls has a grand total of seven horses entered into the running for the Grand National, two less than in 2016. This seasoned trainer has proven time and again that his horses have the grit and training needed to win and he is no doubt hoping for a repeat success of 2012 when Neptune Collonges won it for him.

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Pundits are speculating that some of Nicholls’ horses are just too young to be in the race as from the seven entered two are just seven years old while another three are just eight years old including Vicente and Saphir Du Rheu. Whether he’s really up to the hardest race in the world is yet to be seen as he’s a largely untested horse in this regard. He has had three starts at 3m3f or more and only won one – the Scottish National. The bulk of his races have been run at shorter distances but then again that's true for many of the potential Grand National runners this year.

So what makes Vicente a favourite for Nicholls? Speaking to the Racing Post, Nicholls said “He's always been a spring horse and wants good ground.

“He ran okay at Doncaster the other day. Three miles is a bit sharp for him and it looked like he'd be tailed off, but he flew up the straight.

“You're getting runs into them to keep them sharp and he's been trained with that mind.

“He might go straight there as it's not easy to find races for horses rated like him and Cheltenham is close enough to Aintree. He's fresh and has won a Scottish National so it might suit. He'd be our one for that.”

Speaking on the inexperience of Saphir Du Rheu, Nicholls said that he will definitely run in the Grand National, it just might not be this year.

With trainers like Colin Tizzard and Nicky Henderson gaining speed on this top trainer, he’ll be fighting hard to keep his place in the elite of the game. His horses have brought in millions so far and by the numbers, he’s one of the best trainers in the world. It will certainly be exciting to see his seven entries and their progress.