09 February 2023

National tide will turn at some point, says Nicholls

09 February 2023

Paul Nicholls believes the lack of entries by British-based trainers in this year’s Randox Grand National is cyclical and that within a few seasons the pendulum may well swing back.

Threeunderthrufive is Nicholls’ sole entry for the Aintree spectacular, as just 31 of 85 initial entries hailed from the home-based team.

Nicholls stated his Ditcheat yard is currently stacked with young talent, backed up by Grade One winners Hermes Allen and Tahmuras, rather than staying chasers. But in the future he may be in a position to enter plenty more.

“I only had one horse I entered that was suitable, in the future I may have four or five, it just depends on your team of horses,” he said.

“I’m in a bit of a situation at the moment where I’ve a lot of young horses coming through and they aren’t going to be running in a National.

“Sometimes people look into things too much and it just goes round in circles a little bit. You only need one good horse to win the race from the yard’s point of view, but if you haven’t got anything suitable at the time then you can’t invent them – it’s just the way it is at the moment.

“There’s no good looking into things too much, it’s just the way it is at the moment and it will soon come back round.

“I’d love to have four or five entered, we just don’t have the right horse at the right time but I’m sure we will have in the future.”

He went on: “You can run quality horses in it. The best horse I ever ran in it, Neptune Collonges, won the race. He was probably one of the highest rated to win it.

“I wouldn’t worry. I could probably have entered Frodon but he’s not going to win it off the mark he has and he’s not the biggest in the world so I wouldn’t want to run him as I didn’t think he was suitable.

“Neptune was the perfect horse, he had a high rating, was class and stayed forever. If you haven’t got the right horse there’s no point doing it.”

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