The nine-year-old was pulled up after 21 fences when sent off the 7-1 favourite for last Saturday’s Martell Cognac Grand National and jockey Ruby Walsh had thought the gelding had burst a blood vessel.
However, that was not the case and he is none the worse for his Aintree exertions.
“He definitely runs,” Nicholls announced. “He’s been absolutely fine since Aintree and so long as the ground is good he’ll run.
“The ground could be the same as last year and he ran a good race last year (half-length second to Take Control).
“He’s come out of Aintree fine and contrary to reports he didn’t bleed, whatever was in front must have sprayed Ruby.
“He might just have a pair of blinkers on Saturday. He schooled in them this morning and he’s going to work in them in the morning.”
Tony McCoy reached another milestone yesterday when Penny Pictures took the Moore Scott Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle at Ludlow to give the champion jockey his 250th success of the season.
Sent off the 1-8 favourite, Penny Pictures never gave McCoy or his backers a moment’s worry as he cruised home, easing down to win by 13 lengths from 25-1 chance Bude.