sport

Ground key to Tidal Gold run

Owner Graham Wylie insists Tidal Bay will not run in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in March if "the ground is good or faster".

The Paul Nicholls-trained 12-year-old looked as good as ever in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas when he secured a pulsating last-gasp victory under Ruby Walsh.

Although the Gold Cup would seem the logical target, Tidal Bay could yet revert to smaller obstacles for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

"He has always been a good horse and I think things have worked out well for him this season because the ground has been so soft," said Wylie. "When the ground is faster, he doesn't get himself organised with his jumping.

"I know there is much debate about where he should run, and I am enjoying reading all the different views, but the fact is we just don't know. It is going to be very ground dependant.

"If the ground is good or faster then he won't run in the Gold Cup as we've tried it before and they go too fast for him, but if it was very soft we'd probably give it a go."

Tidal Bay is also under consideration for the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree, but the ground will also play a major part in the final decision.

"It will be the same thing with the National - if the ground is very fast he won't run and if it came up soft then he could do," said Wylie.

"I think it's safe to say he'll have entries in all three races - the World Hurdle, the Gold Cup and the National - and we'll just see how he is and what is happening with the weather closer to the time."