Sunday 15 December 2019

Nicholls stalls on call over Tidal Bay's Ayr assault

Trainer Paul Nicholls with Tidal Bay
Trainer Paul Nicholls with Tidal Bay

Press Association

Paul Nicholls will make a decision later this week on whether to let Tidal Bay turn out quickly for Saturday's Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

The popular veteran only made it as far as the eighth fence in the Grand National at the weekend, unseating Sam Twiston-Davies after being badly hampered by the fall of Golan Way at the Canal Turn.

Tidal Bay galloped on riderless for the rest of the first circuit, virtually taking out the front-running Across The Bay after the water jump, before being caught by handlers. The 13-year-old heads the weights for the Ayr feature, and Nicholls is considering letting him take his chance.

Nicholls confirmed Sam Winner, second in the weights behind Tidal Bay, is an intended runner in the big race.

The Nicholls-trained pair head 59 confirmations, with the Ditcheat maestro also responsible for Poungach further down the list.


Harry Fry's Mendip Express and the Scottish-trained Green Flag, under the tutelage of Lucinda Russell, are both prominent in ante-post lists. Last year's winner Godsmejudge could return to defend his crown, but has been pulled up on his last two starts.

At Kelso yesterday, it was a good day for champion jockey Tony McCoy, who made his trip north pay with a double for Donald McCain courtesy of Katachenko (4/9 favourite) in division one of the novices' hurdle and Sealous Scout (7/4 favourite) in the staying handicap hurdle.

On the Flat at Windsor, former champion Ryan Moore underlined why he's odds-on favourite to reclaim the title with a 58/1 four-timer courtesy of Civil War, Cannoch Chase, Magical Roundabout and Tobacco Road.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lynch is optimistic the shoulder injury he sustained at Fairyhouse on Sunday is nothing too severe.

"I'm a bit tender and sore, so I'll just see how things are in a day or two," said Lynch. "Hopefully it won't be anything too serious, you'd like to think not anyway."

PA Media

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