Elliott Expecting Three Runners In The Grand National
The Gordon Elliott Grand National bid is in motion. The leading Irish trainer looks likely to run three in the Randox Health Grand National (April 14th) with Tiger Roll, Ucello Conti and Bless The Wings.
Davy Russell is expected to get the leg-up on the well-supported Tiger Roll, who is around 10/1* and co-favourite in places in the betting, with Elliott thinking this recent Cheltenham Festival winner will love the unique challenge of the Aintree race.
Elliott won the Irish National earlier last weekend with General Principle for the first time but after winning the Aintree version in 2007 with Silver Birch will be looking for his second win in the 2018 Grand National.
Keith Donoghue, who rode Tiger Roll at Cheltenham when winning the Cross Country race cannot do the 10st 12lb weight so Davy Russell is expected to ride.
Tiger Roll also represents Gigginstown House Stud, who claimed the National two years ago with Rule The World, and will be looking to round-off what’s been a cracking season for both these owners and Elliott.
Elliott added “Tiger Roll is in very good form and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Elliott reported on Tuesday. I think he’ll love the National. The fences will light him up. It’s the Grand National, and you need a lot of luck and for everything to go right, but I think the race will suit him. The one worry would be the weather and what sort of ground they get. The better the ground at Aintree the better his chance, but there’s still nearly two weeks until the race and with a dry week the ground should start to dry.”
Ucello Conti, who was still travelling well when exiting at the second jumping of Becher’s Brook in the 2017 race, looks set to be ridden by Daryl Jacob, who won the National in 2012 on Neptune Collonges, while Jack Kennedy is likely to ride Bless The Wings. Gordon Elliott Grand National 2017 runner-up Cause Of Causes has been pulled out of the 2018 Grand National after a poor showing at Cheltenham last time out.
“Ucello Conti was running very well until he unseated last year and we’ve trained him for the race all season. He’s in great form. He’s a good horse and this has been the plan. I’m 99 per cent sure Daryl Jacob rides. The ground was too soft for Bless The Wings at Fairyhouse, so Brian Hughes wisely pulled him up. He isn’t getting any younger but if you’re not in you can’t win.” Elliott.
Ucello Conti is around 33/1* in the Grand National betting, while Bless The Wings is 66/1*.
*All odds subject to change.
Quotes: Racing Post