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Angus McNae

Angus McNae - Saturday 19th January

(Read Angus's column every Thursday and Saturday)

Tidal Bay - It’s got to be the World Hurdle!

With the weather decimating the next few days racing I have decided to issue a humble plea to the Paul Nicholls team.

It is my opinion that even though they do not have Big Buck's in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle this year the team at Ditcheat can still win the race and can do so with Tidal Bay. The problem is at he may run in the Gold Cup instead. Please run him in the World Hurdle and not the Blue Riband chase!

Tidal Bay
© Racehorse Photos

Tidal Bay
We know that he acts well at Cheltenham and we know that he is an effective and talented chaser as his win in the Lexus Chase last time proved. It is my contention that he does not jump well enough to win a Gold Cup. Mistakes will ensure that he gets too far back in the race and although he is sure to come home strongly it would probably be a case of too little, too late.

Over hurdles though he is far more comfortable and far more fluent.

He has run only 13 times over hurdles and has won six of those starts. When we last saw him over hurdles in the at Wetherby [John Smith’s Hurdle] he comfortably beat Crack Away Jack and Smad Place. It would be fair to say that he bolted up, forging clear in the closing stages in the style of a horse who was now enjoying his work. He clearly likes hurdling, but finds chasing a lot harder.

Surely he has enough class and talent to win a World Hurdle and it would be a real bonus if Ruby Walsh was on board. That may depend on the participation of Quevega, but Walsh and Tidal Bay over three miles at Cheltenham on the hurdles track would be my idea of a large Cheltenham wager. I just need for the cards to fall my way and if anything like 8/1 for the World Hurdle is still available when they decide I will be wading in.

I will be back on Thursday with some more thoughts about the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Until then, stay warm out there.





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