Tidal Bay at high water in Hennessy Gold Cup weights
Wednesday 13 November 2013
Over the years Tidal Bay has drawn many less than complimentary opinions concerning his level of commitment to his vocation, but in the autumn of his career, revitalised since joining Paul Nicholls, he can now demand comparison with some of the stable's best.
So the weights for the Hennessy Gold Cup suggest. Tidal Bay, second last year under top weight when conceding 6lb to the subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth, again heads the handicap with 11st 12lb, but on a rating 5lb higher than last year of 171. This is only 3lb shy of the figure off which Denman put up one of the great weight-carrying performances of recent years when winning his second Hennessy four years ago, the final victory of his career.
After finishing second in last year's renewal, Tidal Bay went on to gain a last-gasp triumph in the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, but was unable to renew rivalry with Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and did not run again last season. However, the 12-year-old showed there is plenty of life left in him when he won the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby for the second autumn running earlier this month.
Even so, Tidal Bay is now 17lb higher in the handicap than when signalling his revival by winning the Bet365 Gold Cup in April last year. By contrast, Invictus, conveniently placed on the minimum weight of 10st, is 5lb lower than when last seen, giving a three-length beating to a certain Bobs Worth, who was conceding 3lb, at Ascot in February last year. Bookmakers have noted the discrepancy and the Alan King-trained seven-year-old is a best-priced 8-1 favourite for the contest at Newbury on 30 November.
King saddled two more potentially smart novice chase recruits to win at Exeter in Smad Place – on the podium in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for the last two seasons and atoning for previous a last-fence fall which cost him victory at Huntingdon – and Valdez, to continue the stable's recent run of success. King also won the feature handicap chase at Bangor with Midnight Appeal.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...