Grand National plan for Tidal

Sun 30th Dec 2012, 16:23

photoTidal Bay (noseband) winning Lexus
©Healy Racing Photos
Paul Nicholls believes Tidal Bay could be the horse to try for the unique double of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and the John Smith's Grand National.

The talented but quirky 11-year-old leapt into the picture for the Betfred Gold Cup with a dramatic last-gasp triumph in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

However, Nicholls would only seriously consider the blue riband event for Graham Wylie's charge if the ground was soft.

The champion trainer also believes Tidal Bay would have a big chance in the World Hurdle ahead of a tilt at the Aintree spectacular.

"He'll have an entry for the World Hurdle and for the Gold Cup. The ground will play a big part in it," the Ditcheat handler told At The Races.

"I'll obviously have a big chat with Mr Wylie and see what is the right thing to do.

"The ground would want to be soft at Cheltenham for him to run in the Gold Cup. It's the quickest track, I think, and it's not necessarily his cup of tea.

"If the ground was testing, yes it would be. If the ground is like what it normally is in March, on the good side, then we have the option of the World Hurdle

"I've been looking at the betting for the World Hurdle and he's third favourite. He'd have a big chance in that.

"It might be an unorthodox route but we'd like to go for the Grand National with him at the end of the season.

"To go World Hurdle then back for the Grand National would be different but he's one horse who could do that."

Punchestown hopeful

Punchestown are hopeful of racing going ahead at the Kildare venue tomorrow with a 8am inspection scheduled for the day's meeting due to an adverse weather forecast.