Clan Des Obeaux could head to Aintree after Gold Cup fifth at Cheltenham

Paul Nicholls with Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon
Paul Nicholls with Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon

Paul Nicholls has not ruled out giving Clan Des Obeaux the chance to add another Grade One victory to his name this season in the Betway Bowl at Aintree.

The 10-times champion trainer feels the extended three-mile-one-furlong contest on April 4 could offer this year's King George VI Chase hero the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.

After backing up his Boxing Day success at Kempton in the rearranged Denman Chase at Ascot, the seven-year-old, having travelled well, had to settle for a creditable fifth place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.

Nicholls said: "Clan Des Obeaux has come back fine. He just got outstayed from the back of the last.

"He could have done without that rain on the morning of the race as three and a quarter miles on that ground takes some getting, but he still ran a super race.

"He is only seven and will learn from that experience. You can't say he didn't handle the track, but I think he is a little bit better on flatter tracks.

"We will let the dust settle, the Bowl at Aintree is a possibility as three-miles-one around Aintree on a flat track would suit him well, but I've just got to speak to the owners."

A trip to Merseyside could be on the cards for RSA winner Topofthegame - who was one of two Grade One winners for Nicholls at the Cheltenham Festival - with the Betway Mildmay Novices' Chase under consideration.

Nicholls said: "He is another who we will give another week and then look to make a plan for.

"He cantered well on Saturday morning and it is possible he could head to Aintree as he has only had three runs this season.

"I need to have a chat with the owners, but he has taken the RSA well."

Nicholls is contemplating drawing stumps for the season for his other top-level Festival winner, Ryanair Chase hero Frodon.

He said: "I will talk to Paul (Vogt) owner, but he has had five hard races this season and he might have just done enough.

"It was one of the most amazing reactions I've seen at the Festival when Frodon and Bryony (Frost) came back in. The improvement in that horse has been astonishing.

"It is one that will live long in the memory and it was great seeing them on the front pages of national papers. There are a lot of positives about, so let's talk about them."

Having ended Cheltenham with a commanding lead at the head of the jump trainers' championship, Nicholls is hoping he can further extend his advantage over the next few weeks, as bids to secure another title.

He added: "I was ahead going into Cheltenham, but I was a little bit up against it. Now I'm £400,000 in front which is a massive lead with six weeks of the season left. It is a nice place to be at this stage of the season.

"We will keep driving on until the end of the season and do our best. We will look at selecting the right races for the right horses as there are lots of good races still to go and we will keep going until the end."

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