Tidal Bay expected to go close in Aintree steeplechase despite carrying top weight for Paul Nicholls
It appears increasingly likely that Sam Twiston-Davies will be offered the ride of Tidal Bay in the Grand National next month, with the young jockey’s star continuing to rise after riding for father Nigel and now Paul Nicholls who clearly rates him.
Injuries to Daryl Jacob and Ruby Walsh leave a vacancy and Twiston-Davies will surely jump at the chance to ride one of the race favourites, with Tidal Bay potentially the classiest charge in the race and one for whom the daunting obstacles should present few problems.
The horse’s last outing was a second-placed finish in the Irish Gold Cup, with owner Graham Wylie likely to endorse the selection of Twiston-Davies who had a luckless Cheltenham Festival but rode The New One to within two lengths of victory in the Champion Hurdle despite being hindered by Our Conor.
“Tidal Bay’s form in three top handicaps off top weight has been very good” said Nicholls. “In the Hennessy, the Welsh National and the bet365 Gold Cup. He is in good shape, he ran really well in Ireland in the Hennessy recently and we are really looking forward to it.
“We will sort that out nearer the time (jockey bookings). It is highly likely Sam Twiston-Davies will ride Tidal Bay because he has won on him already this season. But things can happen and that is not definite but it is the plan.
“The thing to do with him is, a little bit like we did with Neptune Collonges, not let him get outpaced by rushing him. It wouldn’t matter if he started last and jumped the first fence last. Then it is just jumping them one by one and getting into a rhythm. That is what we will be doing, but it will be a big challenge. He is 13 and has top weight.”
Most firms offer 16/1 about Tidal Bay claiming victory and the horse’s jumping could be a big asset around the Aintree obstacles, with Teaforthree the current race favourite although punters might find the best price 10/1 about Rebecca Curtis’ horse a little on the skinny side.
TIP: Tidal Bay to win the Grand National each-way @ 16/1