A Grand National winning trainer in 2012 with Neptune Collonges, ridden by the now injured Daryl Jacob, Paul Nicholls has had to put his thinking cap on and shuffle his original jockey plans for the 2014 Crabbies grand National.
Writing exclusively in his Betfair column last week Nicholls confirmed that with Daryl Jacob out of action Sam Twiston-Davies will be riding Tidal Bay, as previously expected and Noel Fehily will ride Rocky Creek.
Nicholls wrote that it was probably a blessing in disguise that Rocky Creek had to miss the Gold Cup – where the form of his Argento Chase second stood up well – with a case of ringworm, and he is fit, well and fresh now.
Nicholls also has a third potential runner in the mix with Hawkes Point, who was the runner-up in the Welsh National and if he does go to Aintree it will be with Ryan Mahon on board, who rode him at Chepstow.
Tidal Bay is currently one of the favourites for the race, despite being 13 years old and is as short as 16/1 though odds on him will probably shorten as the race draws nearer.
Rocky Creek, who David Pipe likes the look of, is a general 25/1 with Hawkes Point at 33/1.