Tidal Bay galloped away from Crack Away Jack after the lastPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Versatile Tidal Bay lands John Smith's Hurdle
Report: Wetherby, Saturday
John Smith's Hurdle (Registered as the West Yorkshire Hurdle) (Grade 2) 3m1f, 4yo+
THE ultra-versatile Tidal Bay gave trainer Paul Nicholls a big-race double when running out the winner of a muddling John Smith's Hurdle at Wetherby.
The six-runner field dawdled for the first circuit, with Cape Tribulation, Fair Along and then Restless Harry taking it in turns to make the running.
However, the complexion of the race changed dramatically after four out, with the early leaders weakening and Crack Away Jack taking it up with the heavily backed favourite, World Hurdle third Smad Place, seemingly travelling well in his slipstream.
Crack Away Jack was still travelling well at two out as Smad Place found disappointingly little, and it was left to Ruby Walsh and last season's bet365 Gold Cup winner Tidal Bay to lay down the challenge.
Walsh made his move approaching the last and soon had the race sewn up, eventually putting four-and-a-half lengths between himself and Crack Away Jack, with a further 20 lengths to Smad Place.
Ten minutes earlier Nicholls won the big race in Ireland, the JNwine.com Champion Chase, with Kauto Stone.