Tidal Bay: made a successful reappearance at Wetherby on Saturday.PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Tidal Bay handed Hennessy target
CHAMPION trainer Paul Nicholls is eyeing a crack at the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on December 1 with Tidal Bay, who made a successful reappearance when beating Crack Away Jack in the Grade 2 John Smith's Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday.
The eleven-year-old looks almost certain to carry top-weight at Newbury, having been raised to a mark of 166 over fences following his 15-length win off 154 in April's bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, but Nicholls believes the race will suit him well.
He said: "He'll run in either the Hennessy or the Betfair and I'm quite keen on the Hennessy as I think three miles two around Newbury will suit him really well, especially if we keep getting all this rain."
He added: "I haven't spoken yet to Jared [Sullivan] or Chris [Giles] about 'Conti' and it's pointless nominating a target for him or the others at present.
"Robin Geffen, who owns both the Down Royal winners [Kauto Stone and Cristal Bonu], leaves it up to me and is very good like that. They got back at 6.30 in the morning and travelled back fine, but Kauto Stone needs to be fresh, so I'm not going to rush him."