Horse Talk: Tidal Bay’s on course for unique double

The rejuvenated Tidal Bay will attempt a unique double following confirmation from Paul Nicholls that he is “highly likely” to contest the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and John Smith’s Grand National.

The 12-year-old has been a revelation since joining Nicholls last year, winning three of his past four starts and finishing runner-up in the other when carrying top weight in the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Tidal Bay, the winner of £750,000 in prize money, has proved equally adept over hurdles and fences in a career that spans 38 starts, including victories in the 2008 Arkle Chase and the 2010 Cleeve Hurdle.

“We have yet to finalise plans but we are highly likely to run Tidal Bay in the World Hurdle,” said Nicholls, who has won that race for the past four seasons with Big Buck’s, who will miss this year’s race through injury.

“Of course, we will leave Tidal Bay in the Gold Cup until the last minute, but as it stands our plan with him is the World Hurdle and then the Grand National. He will go straight to Cheltenham.”

Meanwhile, the resurgent Nozic was another 12-year-old to continue his resurrection when landing the two-mile Class Three chase at Kempton Park last Friday.

Nozic, who has won 10 of his 37 starts, spent three seasons in the doldrums before winning at Plumpton last March – and he hasn’t finished further back than fourth in his six starts since then.

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Simon Jackson is a freelance racing journalist based in north west London. He can be reached at for press and PR enquiries, or racing/betting related news stories and features.