Paul Nicholls primes big guns for Aintree but Frodon earns long break

• Chance of no National runner for first time since 1995
• Warrior’s Tale could go in shorter Topham Chase

Frodon, whose victory under Bryony Frost brought the feelgood factor to the Cheltenham Festival, has done enough for the season and will not be seen again until autumn, Paul Nicholls said on Tuesday. The trainer is determined to hold on to his lead in a title race battle with Nicky Henderson and could have used Frodon at Aintree next week or Sandown later in the month but prefers to give the horse a long break, and also indicated he may be without a runner in the Grand National for the first time since 1995.

Nicholls said: “Frodon’s had five hard races and every time he gives an awful lot, and Bryony is injured as well. So it didn’t give me too many options, bar Sandown on the last day and I don’t really want to go there with him.”

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