Time For Rupert’s omission from the Argento Chase field has more than opened the chances for Tidal Bay to step in and land a victory that will make him more of a leading contender to also win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Tidal Bay is currently 50/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting, which may prove a massive price for two reasons.
Firstly, off equal weights he finished within two lengths of last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his latest outing.
And secondly his chances of winning the Argento Chase at Cheltenham, which is a recognised trial for the Gold Cup, have been substantially boosted by the withdrawal of Time For Rupert.
Pre-race tests have revealed that the unbeaten chaser was not at 100 per cent after suffering a minor injection and trainer Paul Webber decided that it would be best to pull the horse out.
Time For Rupert will now not have another run until the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, for which he is the 9/4 favourite.
Tidal Bay’s chasing career has been a slight let down to date as he has never really fulfilled the potential he displayed as a novice.
This led to him being utilised over hurdles for much of the last year, until connections decided to take him back over the larger obstacles over an increased trip for the Betfair Chase.
The decision appears to have paid dividends as he stayed on strongly to finish ahead of some useful horses in Nacarat and What A Friend.
Tidal Bay will also receive 5lbs in the weights from his biggest danger Punchestown and this makes him a solid bet in the Argento Chase betting at 5/2.
A £25 stake on Neptune Collonges winning the Argento Chase would return £300. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.