2:35 For sure this Welsh National is going to be a massive test of stamina under these heavy ground conditions. You need a horse that stays forever but who will also appreciate the very testing conditions.
TIDAL BAY under a burden top weight this ultra consistent son of Flemensfirth has all the attributes to win a Welsh National. TIDAL BAY is getting on at the age of 12 but I do think there is one massive run left in him. He has been a revelation since switching to Paul Nicholls 2 years ago and I honestly believe, had he been trained by him his whole racing career, he would of won a gold cup.
What is interesting is the fact trainer Paul Nicholls has chosen this route off top weight rather than go to Ireland to defend the Lexus he won last year. A big clue if you ask me. He seems to be that confident that he chosen not to stick a claimer on him to take weight off and keep Daryl Jacob on board.
TIDAL BAY is now down to a very workable mark of 163 which is 3lb lower than when he finished a mighty 2nd to Bobs Worth in last years ultra competitive Hennessy Gold Cup. He then went on to win the Lexus in Ireland which was a massive achievement. To be fair I was surprised Nicholls didn’t send him back this year and in making that decision he has put the pointers there for me today for the Welsh National.
TIDAL BAY came back this year just as good as ever when winning the Bet 365 Hurdle at Wetherby in convincing fashion. He then went on to run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock where a lot of people were very bullish about his chance’s. He finished 30 lengths of the winner Cue Card in 5th that day and maybe his age was against him but he was racing against to cream of the crop in the staying chaser division. TIDAL BAY did finish in front of Gold Cup favourite Bob’s Worth that day and he is incidentally favourite for tomorrow’s Lexus. He also ran off a mark of 171 so is 8lb lower today at 163.
Everything is in TIDAL BAY’S favour. He Will relish the trip, love the stamina test, love the ground and love picking them off one by one. Paul Nicholls horse’s are also running out of there skin another major positive.
Something else to note is that in any handicap he has ran in the last 2 years, he has not finished out of the top 2 and that was always starting off with 11st 12lb top weight.
I have gone over the race in my head where I believe Highland Lodge will take them along and expect TIDAL BAY to settle near the back and just keep jumping fence to fence. Daryl Jacob will start to take closer order 5 fences out and I think he will be 10 lengths down 3 fences from home. He will start cutting into the lead who I believe will still be Highland lodge and jumping the last fence may be 1 length down before he keeps finding and finding going on to score by a couple of lengths.
I think at 12/1 TIDAL BAY is a cracking bet.