Tidal Bay chasing 'national' compensation
Paul Nicholls has given Saturday's early Grand National casualty Tidal Bay the go-ahead to make amends under top-weight in tomorrow's Scottish equivalent at Ayr.
The 13-year-old's presence under Sam Twiston-Davies in the four-miler means that all bar 11 of the 32 runners race from out of the handicap. Stuart Crawford's Yes Tom (Paul Carberry) is the last to sneak in off its correct mark, while Colin McBratney's Sole Witness (Ben Dalton) is 9lb wrong as they bid to become the first Irish-trained winner of the famous handicap since 1869.
Both men are among seven Irish trainers who are responsible for 11 runners at the Ayr festival today, with Prunella Dobbs booking Twiston-Davies for recent course winner Romantic Fashion.
Twiston-Davies got among the winners at Ludlow yesterday on Kim Bailey's Magic Money, though he started the day minus one after the controversial decision by the Stratford stewards to demote Warren Greatrex's Dolatulo after it passed the post first on March 29 was turned over on appeal.
Riding his father Nigel's Benbens, Twiston-Davies had tried to challenge on the outside of the Gavin Sheehan-ridden Dolatulo after the last.
However, he failed to allow for the fact that they had to go around an obstacle in the straight and collided with a rail when left with nowhere to go.
Inexplicably, despite keeping a straight and true line after the last, Dolatulo was disqualified and Cork native Sheehan banned for four days for careless riding.
The verdict left viewers perplexed, so the decision to uphold the appeal and quash Sheehan's ban was a case of justice belatedly being done, though that will be no consolation to those who backed Dolatulo at 9/1 on the day. Sheehan's good fortune continued yesterday when he won the first race at Towcester aboard Dalmo for the Grand National-winning trainer Dr Richard Newland, while Pineau De Re's jockey Leighton Aspell netted a double on Oliver Sherwood's Fair Bramble and Caroline Fryer's Riddlestown.
Meanwhile, John Gosden's 2,000 Guineas fancy Kingman will return at Newbury tomorrow. Khalid Abdullah's unbeaten Invincible Spirit colt is one of 10 set to tackle the Greenham Stakes.