Paul Nicholls Grand National Day Runners Preview: Warriors Tale of triumph?
Paul Nicholls has two runners in action at Aintree on day three of the Grand National Festival, including one in the big race, and gives Betfair his verdict here.
Paul's best chance on Grand National Day - Oleg (15:30 at Chepstow): "Won nicely on his debut for us and will enjoy the soft ground."
Soft ground is a concern
16:20 - Touch Kick
Has very much gone the right way after an untimely injury forced us to draw stumps with him at Christmas, 2017.
He has progressed this season, winning twice before running well for a long way in the Kim Muir where he was still in fourth place two fences out but didn't quite get home on the ground that had turned soft by then.
So all the rain they have had on watered ground at Aintree is obviously a concern for Touch Kick.
My Grand National runner
17:15 - Warriors Tale
With a dry forecast and decent ground expected I was happy to declare Warriors Tale on Thursday for the Grand National rather than the Topham on Friday.
So it's frustrating that the weather has gone against him. I thought he was highly impressive in winning the Becher Chase over the National fences in December when he stayed on resolutely to seal victory.
That was over two miles, five furlongs and while he should have a fair chance of getting the National trip on decent ground I do worry about his stamina after so much rain has fallen on the track.
It has to be a concern that Warriors Tale didn't last home in the race a year ago after travelling really well but if you aren't in it you can't win.
Should go close again
15:30 - Oleg
Made a pleasing debut for us at Kelso just over a month ago when he led two out and showing a willing attitude to hold off the sustained challenge of Pogue.
We know Oleg a bit better now and he comes here in good heart under a 7lbs penalty with our excellent claimer Lorcan Williams taking a useful 5lbs off his back.
Soft ground will not be an issue for Oleg who should again go close.
Lots of potential
18:05 - Is A Real Champ
He was sent to us in January by the McNeill family and has had just the one run in a point-to-point at Ballinaboola in November where he started favourite and kept on well at the finish to take second place to a useful type.
Is A Real Champ is a scopey, big, green baby who has the potential to be a nice chaser in time. While he is fit and well I'd expect him to improve no end with a summer on his back.
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