TIDAL Bay could earn himself a crack at the World Hurdle with a prominent showing in the Betfair Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham today.

The 2008 Arkle hero was not disgraced in finishing second to Monet’s Garden on his first outing of the campaign at Aintree but failed to land a blow in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.

Trainer Howard Johnson is pleased with his current condition and hopes the switch back to timber can rekindle his old spark.

‘‘He looks very well but I’m worried the ground might be a bit too soft for him,’’ said Johnson.

‘‘Since he won at Aintree (April 2008) he’s never had his ground, and even though he’s nine, we still don’t know what to do with him.

‘‘We’ll see how he gets on and then decide whether to stay over hurdles or go back over fences.’’ Philip Hobbs’ Fair Along chases his fifth career victory at Cheltenham. He was third in the Grade Two event last year, but neither subsequent Ladbrokes World Hurdle first and second Big Buck’s and Punchestowns are in attendance this time.

Fair Along started the season on the right note, coming home well clear in the West Yorkshire Hurdle, but was only fifth to Big Buck’s in the Long Walk Hurdle at Newbury on heavy ground.

Hobbs’ wife, Sarah, said: ‘‘He’s in very good form, we just hope he copes with the ground.

‘‘He has run well in the race before and it was only the ground at Newbury that was the problem.’’ The Nigel Twiston-Daviestrained Kayf Aramis was one place ahead of Fair Along in the Long Walk and the Naunton handler believes conditions are in his favour.

‘‘It looks pretty tough on paper but he always runs well at Cheltenham,’’ said Twiston-Davies.”

Thirteen runners are set to go to post for the Grade Two contest, with former Champion Hurdler Katchit and Lie Forrit among an intriguing line-up.

Johnson feels conditions will be perfect for Killyglen as he bids to bounce back to form in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster today.

The eight-year-old was a brilliant winner at Aintree on his final start as a novice and was not disgraced when second to Knockara Beau on his Carlisle reappearance.

The son of Presenting was then pulled up when one of the leading fancies for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, and Johnson is keeping his fingers crossed things fall right on Town Moor today.