The enigmatic Tidal Bay will have a crack at claiming Cheltenham Gold Cup glory after another frustrating effort in the Argento Chase on Saturday.
The 10-year-old came from the clouds to chase home reigning Gold Cup hero Imperial Commander on his penultimate start in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Returning to Cheltenham, he looked likely to be nearer last than first at one stage, but he once again consented to run on in the home straight to pick up minor honours behind all-the-way winner Neptune Collonges.
His trainer Howard Johnson believes there is no other way to ride the gelding other than to coax him round and he believes there is every reason to believe his charge will run a similar race in the Gold Cup.
Johnson said: “He’s fine this morning. What can you do with him?
“They just went too slow for him through the race and when you get Tony McCoy in front stopping and starting like he was, how do you get past him? He’s very clever.
“You can’t do anything else than what we did with our horse and he’ll go for the Gold Cup now as there’s nothing else for him.
“He might plod into a bit of place money there as he should get a better pace and it’s over a bit further as well, which would suit him.”