Nicholls eyeing Aintree double on Saturday
As De Mee, owned by Andy Stewart's family and actress Dame Judi Dench, is proven over the obstacles, having won the Grand Sefton in 2016.
Nicholls expects the nine-year-old to put up a bold display following a prep run over hurdles at Cheltenham last month after being off the track since February.
"As De Mee has won over the fences before. He had a nice run over hurdles the other day. He is a big 33-1 each way shot for the race I would say," he said.
Nicholls pins his hopes on Touch Kick in the Grand Sefton, for which there were 19 five-day confirmations.
"Touch Kick won nicely at Fakenham the other day and we purposely left him for this race," he said.
"I think he will run really well. I expect him to love those fences and Mr (Trevor) Hemmings (owner) loves to have runners over the Grand National fences there."
Ultragold (142), winner of the Topham Chase in 2017 and 2018, could bid for another triumph over the big fences.
Colin Tizzard's Native River got the verdict over the Henderson runner that day and both could be action for the first time last season's blue riband in which they were fourth and pulled up respectively.
Henderson has also put in Top Notch (162), a course winner over hurdles last month.
The Brian Ellison-trained Definitly Red (160) could for a third successive win in this race, although he is also still in the Becher at this stage.
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