Tidal Bay, the Paul Nicholls trained 12-year-old, is just days off his 13th birthday and while some may consider letting their chasers out to pasture, Nicholls has instead confirmed that he plans to send him to Aintree for the Crabbies Grand National on April 5 2014.
Following a sterling performance in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow Racecourse, where he finished third behind second place stablemate Hawkes Point and the ultimate winner, Mountainous, Tidal Bay returned to the yard fit and well with Nicholls stating that he was in fine form on Sunday morning.
He reiterated his plans for the stayer in a tweet that said “Awesome run from the evergreen Tidal Bay who now goes straight to Aintree for Grand National.”
Hopes are high as he successfully ran off top weight in very heavy conditions to get around Chepstow and while he did get an entry into the Aintree Grand National earlier this year, he received top weight from the BHA Handicapper, Phil Smith, and due to a discovered injury was withdrawn days after the weights were announced.
Based on recent performance he will no doubt be looking at top weight again, or close to it, though some consideration may be given for his age as well as the fact that Long Run may also be getting an entry. Long Run will be four years younger and has a similar Official Rating so he may be given top weight for the occasion should he run.
Should Tidal Bay give trainer Nicholls his second Grand National win, he will be the oldest horse to have done so since Sergeant Murphy won at 13 years of age in 1923.
Photo Credit | Meteorshoweryn