herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Nicholls has a Grand plan for Tidal Bay

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.

"He'll have an entry for the World Hurdle and for the Gold Cup," said Nicholls. "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."

Jessica Harrington intends to step Oscars Well up in distance following his fine run in defeat at Leopardstown.

The dual Grade One-winning hurdler had made a good start to his career over fences, winning two of his first three starts before finding only Arvika Ligeonniere too strong in the Racing Post Novice Chase.

Harrington feels her charge could do with a stiffer test of stamina and the two-mile-five-furlong Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase back at Leopardstown in February is next on his agenda.

"We'll probably look to step him up in trip now and he'll probably run in the Moriarty next," she said. "He could then go for the Jewson (Novices' Chase) at Cheltenham, or we could miss Cheltenham altogether and run in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse."

Robbie Hennessy is considering the next plan of attack for Rubi Light after he made Sizing Europe pull out all the stops in the Paddy Power Dial-A Chase at Leopardstown.

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