Join Together can trump the much-fancied West End Rocker and deliver this weekend’s Becher Chase to the Paul Nicholls yard.
There are numerous reasons to plump for the seasoned-stayer at Aintree who has as good a chance as any of the early favourites and his 10/1 ante-post price can ensure a tidy profit.
Daryl Jacob gets the leg-up aboard the Nicholls seven-year-old; replicating the trainer/jockey partnership that claimed the 2012 Grand National.
The Becher uses the same fences as the National and no one can be better positioned to navigate them successfully than the man who romped home on Neptune Collonges the last time he took the course on.
Join Together was chanced at the RSA Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, eventually proving too slow for the ever-impressive Bobs Worth, who claimed the Hennessy Gold Cup on his seasonal appearance last weekend.
Both before and after the RSA – run over just over three miles – question marks were raised as to whether the festival’s 4m chase may have suited the thorough stayer better.
The Becher Chase presents him with an opportunity to prove his best may seen over a marathon trip. It’s contested over three miles and two furlongs and, crucially he has previously demonstrated his prowess on soft going, as well as at this distance in the past.
In addition to their Grand National triumph, the Nicholls/Jacob combination has already reaped plenty of rewards this term.
The pair boast a 30 per cent strike rate since the reopening of the National Hunt season, marginally better than their 27 per cent success rate across all jumps in 2012/13.
While speed isn’t his forte, Join Together’s staying credentials give him an excellent chance for Becher glory and his jockey/trainer partnership provides more encouragement for those wishing to lump on his very tempting price.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date