Up and down the country, yards are opening their doors for Owners Day and Paul Nicholls is no exception. While always interesting, it's not often that trainers talk of plans for Festivals so far in advance. However, this time Nicholls was quite open about where some of his prospects will be targeted over the coming months.
Of particular interest were his plans for the Grand National 2020. Nicholls already has two in mind for the Aintree spectacular which will take place on Saturday, April 6th 2020.
Romain De Senam
First up is Romain De Senam who is currently on a break. Despite this there are some big targets ahead for the seven-year-old.
Nicholls said: “He’ll return for what I still call the Racing Post Chase at Kempton in February, then he'll be trained for the Grand National.
“He wants good ground and a flat track, so Aintree might be ideal.”
Romain De Senam is owned by Chris Giles and Dan Macdonald and has been with Paul Nicholls since he was purchased back in 2015. He is quite the experienced chaser with 23 runs under his belt, winning or placing in just over half of them.
Where he may struggle is with the distance. Throughout his entire career, Romain De Senam has only run once at 3m. That was at Kempton in February in the 888Sport Handicap Chase. He finished fourth behind the winner Walt. That is the same race Nicholls plans to target again this season.
The Grand National will once again be on the agenda for Warriors Tale. The Trevor Hemmings owned runner will be 11-years-old when the 2020 Grand National rolls around and this will be his third attempt at the race.
In 2019 he pulled up under jockey Harry Cobden and in 2018 he also pulled up under jockey Sean Bowen. But he likes Aintree and won the Grand Sefton there last December which is why he will head back there for what will hopefully be a repeat win.
Warriors Tale likes the going on the softer side and he's a fine chaser with plenty of experience. If he can just find that bit of extra stamina needed for the National he could do very well. He went off last year at odds of 66/1 and I imagine it will be a similar story this season.