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Cheltenham

  • 15:40 Betfair Cleeve Hurdle 3m

  • (grade 2) £50,000 added 5yo+ 13 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 11.60s
  • Off time: 15:40:42

Cleeve cruise for Tidal Bay

World Hurdle may be Festival target

Last Updated: 30/01/10 4:58pm

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Tidal Bay: impressive win

Tidal Bay: impressive win

Former Arkle winner Tidal Bay rebounded right back to form with an impressive display in the Betfair Cleeve Hurdle under jockey Brian Hughes.

"This was the forgotten horse of the race and there weren't too many Arkle winners in that field."
Briah Hughes Quotes of the week

The 2008 Arkle Trophy winner was without a victory in more than a year and was sent off at odds of 14-1 for this return to hurdling.

Howard Johnson's nine-year-old travelled strongly throughout and was still hard on the bridle turning for home.

He jumped the final flight slightly awkwardly, but he showed plenty of stamina in quickening well up the hill to beat Time For Rupert by five lengths.

Hughes said: "This was the forgotten horse of the race and there weren't too many Arkle winners in that field.

"He didn't really like the ground but fair play to Howard and his team as they had him spot on and the horse dug very deep.

"He was flat out all the way and he's got his critics but he didn't half try there. Howard just wanted to give the horse a change of scenery and it's worked."

Enjoyed hinmself

Johnson added: "He's enjoyed himself today and we had to do something as I was getting knocked and the horse was getting knocked.

"We entered him in this and the Argento Chase but it got to about a minute to 12 and I thought I'll save myself £500 and take him out of the chase so I don't get tempted to run him.

"I rang Graham (Wylie, owner) and told him I'd schooled him over two sets of hurdles and eight poles, he'd jumped great and we would have a go at the Cleeve.

"He'll be 10lb better if the ground dries up as he doesn't like dead ground and it was pretty dead out there, but he's an honest horse. He's a quality horse and class always tells.

"When we tacked him up today, my head girl told me he was number 13 when he won the Arkle and he was number 13 today, so I thought that will do for me.

"He's in the World Hurdle and I don't fancy going back chasing at the minute, but I'll have a word with Graham and see what he says."

Proud

Paul Webber, trainer of Time For Rupert, said: "He's coming along and we are very proud of him.

"He still has some ground to make up in this division and it's always tough for a horse in his graduation season towards chasing, but I do think there is more to come and he will take his chance in the World Hurdle."

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