Tidal Bay is tuned up for unique double after dramatic Leopardstown win
Paul Nicholls could line up Tidal Bay for a unique double after his dramatic victory in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown last Sunday.
The 11-year-old, ridden by Ruby Walsh, produced a late surge to overhaul long-time leader Flemstar and beat First Lieutenant into second by a head to triumph for the Ditcheat trainer.
Nicholls said the Graham Wylie-owned charge would be entered in both the Gold Cup and World Hurdle at March's Cheltenham Festival following the victory, and suggested he could also attempt to win the Grand National at Aintree in April.
"He'll have an entry for the World Hurdle and for the Gold Cup. The ground will play a big part in it," Nicholls told At The Races.
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"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."
Nicholls' bid to win a sixth King George VI chase in seven years fell short on Boxing Day, as Long Run triumphed for the champion trainer's chief rival Nicky Henderson.
Kauto Stone could not follow in the footsteps of five-time winner and half-brother Kauto Star for Nicholls, as he was pulled up by jockey Walsh at Kempton in the early stages.