Tidal Bay handed top weight in Crabbies Grand National

The eagerly anticipated weights for the £1 million Crabbies Grand National were published on February 11 and revealed that grand old stager Tidal Bay has been handed top weight of 11st 10lbs as he attempts to become the oldest horse in generations to land the epic four-and-a-half mile event.

While he will carry more weight than any other horse in the race, the 13-year-old has actually been given a serious chance by BHA Handicapper Phil Smith, assessing the multiple Grade 1 winner some 7lbs below his official mark over regular fences. It was off a mark of 168 that the Graham Wylie-owned star ran a brave second behind local star Last Instalment in the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup a couple of days before the National weights were published.

Tidal Bay, trained by Paul Nicholls, is now a general 20/1 ante-post joint-favourite in the racing betting with last season’s Welsh National hero Monbeg Dude, a good winner in Grade 3 company at Cheltenham last time out. Another high profile entry in the race is the Nicky Henderson-trained 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run (11st 9lb), also the dual winner of the top-class King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Set to be partnered by the popular amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen, it is quite likely that Long Run will be a very popular choice on the big day in the racing live betting for the race that will be seen live around the world by more than 600 million television viewers.

Triolo D’Allene (11st 6lb) winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November, is another high profile entry for the race, along with the popular Seabass (11st 2lb), 33/1 in the racing betting list, third in the 2012 Grand National under Katie Walsh before disappointing in the great race last year when sent off the 11/2 favourite before finishing 11th behind Aurora’s Encore.

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