The remarkable Tidal Bay delivered another starring performance to snatch a last-gasp victory in the Bet365 Hurdle, following up his success in the same race 12 months ago.
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United with Sam Twiston-Davies for the first time, the popular veteran raced with his head as high in the air as ever and required occasional niggling to keep in touch during the early and middle stages of the contest.
Going to the final flight it looked as if 9/4 joint-favourite Medinas had outpaced his rivals, but a messy leap there opened the door ajar for Tidal Bay and asked for maximum effort from his rider, he steadily reeled in his rival to score by a length.
The pair finished ahead of Captain Sunshine, who was far from disgraced, but the other joint-favourite Trustan Times was most disappointing.
Twiston-Davies was the ninth rider to partner the Graham Wylie-owned winner and he said: "What a pleasure he is to ride, he made it very easy.
"He was really a steering job, I just tried to get him in amongst it and enjoying himself and that's one thing he definitely has done.
"He loves passing horses and Paul [Nicholls, trainer] told me to make sure I had one to aim at after the last."
Nicholls added: "I think he's probably better than last year, the lads at home say he is, it's just been a case of finding out how to train him.
"He deserves to go for the Betfair Chase, I think, why ask him to concede weight in the Hennessy. He'll probably go to Haydock along with Silviniaco Conti.
"The key to him is, even him he drops a few lengths behind, to not get after him and let him catch up in his own time and he loves passing horses.
"Sam gave him a great ride, he's potentially a top-class jockey."
Wylie said: "He's 12 and was coming back from an injury and I asked Paul if you could tell in a morning but he said he bounces out every day.
"The runner-up is only six and won a Coral Cup so it was a big effort.
"Sam did a great job and he showed a turn of foot after the last, he still picked up despite the mistake."