National shake-up after Bay blow
There's been a John Smith's Grand National shake-up following the news that top-weight Tidal Bay has been ruled out of the Aintree spectacular.
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Paul Nicholls' 12-year-old has returned to his brilliant best this season, winning a thrilling renewal of the Lexus Chase over Christmas, and had been allotted what looked a favourable handicap mark for the National.
However, Nicholls confirmed in his Betfair blog that a "tiny stress fracture of the lower cannon bone on his right hind leg" would rule the Graham Wylie-owned horse out of Cheltenham and Aintree.
He had been battling for favouritism with On His Own and Prince De Beauchene, also owned by Wylie, following the publication of the weights on Tuesday.
The aforementioned pair were shortened following the news, with Prince De Beauchene now a best price of 12/1 (Coral) and as short as 8/1, with On His Own a top price of 12s generally.
Others at the top of the market were trimmed too with Seabass now 12/1 with BetVictor and William Hill, Colbert Station now 18/1 with BetVictor, and Nicholls' Join Together 20/1 with the same firm.
Tidal Bay was also prominent in the betting for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, he was a top-price 8/1 shot earlier in the day, so those at the top of the betting; Oscar Whisky, Monksland and Reve De Sivola have all been shortened half a point or so.
Also left in the Cheltenham Gold Cup though unlikely to run, the news had little impact on the market though Nicholls' Silviniaco Conti was shortened half a point to 9/2 by Boylesports and bet365.