Wylie praises retired Tidal
Owner Graham Wylie has paid tribute to Tidal Bay following the news the popular veteran has been retired.
The 13-year-old won 15 races and amassed over £800,000 during his career, winning three Grade One events and other big-race victories over both hurdles and fences.
Tidal Bay's last victory came when he landed the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby last November and his last two racecourse outings were in the Grand National at Aintree, where he unseated his rider, and in the Scottish National, when he finished seventh.
Wylie said: "I'm very proud to have had such a horse in my ownership. He's taken me to some great events and won the two-mile Arkle and races over three and a half miles, like the bet365 Gold Cup.
"He's been a great horse to own and I'm delighted he is finishing in one piece and will be able to go on and enjoy his retirement.
"He will be going to a friend of my wife who has three or four horses and she will take good care of him."
Tidal Bay was a classy performer as a novice hurdler and graduated to the highest level over fences when winning the Arkle at Cheltenham in 2008.
He went on to add the Maghull Novices' Chase that year and has successfully mixed his disciplines since, counting the 2010 Cleeve Hurdle, the bet365 Gold Cup in 2012 and that year's Lexus Chase among his successes.
Wylie said: "There's three races that really stand out for me, with the first being the Arkle as he wasn't really expected to get round that day as people had been crabbing his jumping.
"The bet365 Gold Cup was a special win under top weight and he could have gone round again that day as he was enjoying it so much.
"The final race is the Lexus as I have watched it again and again and I still can't quite believe he got up to win like that.
"If you ask any of his riders, I'm sure they will say he was a real character of a horse and you had to just let him do his own thing."
Tidal Bay was initially trained by Howard Johnson before joining Paul Nicholls' yard in 2011, winning four times for the champion trainer.
Nicholls said: "He's been a great servant for us. He's a legend. We didn't have him for many seasons but he had a breathing operation a couple of years ago and hopefully we turned him around.
"Winning the Lexus was awesome and he won a Grade Two over hurdles at Wetherby earlier this season and ran in all those good races.
"He's been a fantastic horse. He's fit, healthy and well but he's 13 and we thought it was the right time to stop with him.
"He's a lovely horse to have around the place and I wish I had a yard full of horses like him. I was saying to Graham and Andrea (Wylie's wife), he will always have a place in our hearts."