Elliott: One more hurrah the ‘dream’ for Tiger Roll

Last Updated 5 Jan 2022 | By Enda McElhinney | Commercial content | 18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply | Wagering
Magic of Light Tiger Roll Grand National 2019

RACING-ENG-NATIONAL: Jockey Davy Russell on Tiger Roll (R) leads Magic Of Light riden by jockey Paddy Kennedy (C) as he crosses the line after winning the Grand National Handicap Chase horse race on the final day of the Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north west England on April 6, 2019. Tiger Roll put his name alongside legend Red Rum on Saturday winning back to back Grand Nationals in stunning style. The 4-1 favourite, superbly ridden by Davy Russell, took up the running at the last fence and although 66-1 outsider Magic of Light came back at him the nine-year-old had enough to spare to emulate Red Rum’s feat in 1973-74. Oli SCARFF / AFP – Oli Scarff/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

Gordon Elliott admits his dream is to see Tiger Roll land one more big success next spring, but the trainer concedes it’s asking a lot to anticipate that being a third Aintree Grand National.

Elliott sees enough sparkle in the ‘horse of a lifetime’ to be dreaming of more glory, but completing an Aintree treble might be asking too much.

Many Clouds challenge on agenda

Tiger Roll, now 12, is set to run this weekend at Aintree in what will be his first start since April. Then, it was the Grade 1 Betway Bowl on Merseyside, while now it’s set to be the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chae on Saturday afternoon.

He could face – amongst others – former Gold Cup winners Al Boum Photo and Native River in this weekend’s race and his trainer is happy to start off in England.

“He’ll probably go to Aintree for a Grade Two on Saturday. He’ll go to the Boyne Hurdle and he’ll go to the Cross Country Race at Cheltenham,” Elliott said this week.

This latest Aintree visit may be deemed another attempt by owners Gigginstown House Stud to convince the British Handicapper that Tiger Roll’s mark needs revising, ahead of a possible tilt at the National in the spring.

‘Not what he was’

By that point it will be three long years since Tiger Roll famously became the first horse since Red Rum to land back-to-back Grand Nationals at Aintree.

The pandemic ensured the 2020 renewal was lost, while owner Michael O’Leary opted to skip the race in 2021 in favour of the Grade 1 Bowl, suggesting Tiger Roll was rated too highly to be competitive in the National.

The hope of a third Aintree win isn’t lost, but Elliott knows it is now a major ask.

“If you’re going to dream, you’d love to go back and win a third Grand National, but the stats don’t lie. It’s running on three years since he ran in a Grand National. It’s not going to be any easier for him, he’s not getting any younger,” Elliott said.

Taking the roof off Cheltenham

Instead, the focus appears to be on another Cheltenham Festival win in March. Should he do it, it would be Tiger Roll’s sixth win at the extravaganza in the Cotswolds.

He retained his Cross Country crown back in March, romping home by 18-lengths from Easysland – the horse that denied him in 2020.

Though Elliott’s license was suspended at that time and Denise Foster’s name was on the racecard, he says nothing has given him a bigger thrill and he longs for one more big-race win come March.

“Ah look, he probably isn’t what he was, but if we can get him back to win another Cross Country race, it’d be a dream come true. He’s a horse of a lifetime and just to have a horse like him around the place is unbelievable,” Elliott adds.

“To be honest, if you were to ask me, I’d love to win another Cross Country Race in Cheltenham with him. I think if he won, it would bring the roof down in Cheltenham.

“For me looking at Cheltenham this year, Tiger Roll winning was probably one of the proudest moments I ever had training horses. He’s just a little superstar and I’m very lucky to have him.”

Enda McElhinney

Enda McElhinney is a racing writer with a growing portfolio of work on both British and Irish racing, with a particular fondness for National Hunt racing. While he acknowledges there have been many great runners; there has only ever been one Denman.
@scoobsy

Latest News

Supercomputer Says Limerick Lace Will Win The 2024 Grand National

  The perfect Grand National winner is a nine-year-old horse, with a handicap of 10st 7lbs Successful jockeys are called John or Tommy, whilst trainers called Tom and owners called John have the most luck at Aintree Limerick Lace most closely matches the description of the ideal Grand National runner Our supercomputer has predicted Limerick […]

‘Course specialist’ Noble Yeats has a big chance – Waley Cohen

Noble Yeats, former Grand National winner and Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle contender – Image via @JamesStevens180 on X Sam Waley-Cohen famously partnered Noble Yeats to Aintree Grand National glory two years ago and the now-retired rider sees no reason the horse can’t become the first since Red Rum to win the race, lose it and then […]

Stitching Success: The Silk Colours that Dominate the Grand National

15.04.2023, Aintree, Liverpool, GBR – Horses and jockeys during the Grand National. Winner Corach Rambler with Derek Fox up with saddle cloth 26. Aintree racecourse. The Aintree course is set to be dazzled by horses and jockeys bedecked in colourful silks, as the Grand National is here. The Grand National is the most valuable jumps […]
18+ | Commercial Content | T&C's Apply | Play Responsibly | Advertising Disclosure
grandnational.org.uk is an independent professional comparison site supported by referral fees from the sites which are ranked on this site. The sites and information we present are from companies from which grandnational.org.uk receives compensation. This compensation may impact the rankings of the sites. Other factors, including our own opinions, your location, and the likelihood of signing up, may also impact how the ranking of the sites appears to a particular user. grandnational.org.uk cannot and does not present information about every betting/casino site or betting/casino site offer available.