Tidal out of Hennessy

Sun 3rd Feb 2013, 12:27

photoTidal Bay (noseband) comes out best in an exciting finish to the Lexus Chase
©Healy Racing Photos
Paul Nicholls has confirmed Tidal Bay won't run in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown next Saturday

Graham Wylie's charge has been coaxed back to his best by the Ditcheat team this season, winning the Lexus Chase over the same course and distance at Christmas.

However he was forced to miss the Argento Chase at Cheltenham last month following a late setback and hasn't recovered in time to head back to the Foxrock venue.

Writing in his exclusive column at www.betfair.com/paulnicholls the champion trainer said: "I have scratched Tidal Bay from the Irish Hennessy next Saturday, as he won't be ready in time.

"As you know, he missed the Argento as he was slightly lame. He is fine now, but I am not going to rush him. He will go straight to the Festival, and we will make a decision on what race he contests there nearer the time, when we have a better idea on the ground."

It's a big week for the Nicholls camp with several star names heading to Newbury at the weekend for their Betfair-sponsored card.

Silviniaco Conti is on target for the Denman Chase and Pearl Swan, Dark Lover and Caid Du Berlais will be left in the Betfair Hurdle on Monday.

Another rising star will represent the team at the meeting too with Nicholls adding: "I have spoken to John Hales and we plan to run Unioniste in the 3m novice chase on the Betfair Super Saturday card at Newbury on February 9th.

"We won the race with Denman - who is due to parade next Saturday - before his win in the Sun Alliance in 2007 and this will tell us more about what Festival route to go down with Unioniste."

Might Bite To Prove His Worth Next Season

There is not much attention given to national hunt racing in the summer months, by punters or by the media. It is, of course, understandable given that our attention is focused on the flat season: the action at Royal Ascot, the Classics and the rest of the elements that define the summer racing season. Some punters might have a dabble at an ante post bet for Cheltenham next year, but by and large we forget about it until the autumn.

THE IRISH TIMES