‘Stiff’ Tiger Roll expected to be fine for Aintree

Last Updated 2 weeks ago | Commercial content | 18+

Gordon Elliott reported Tiger Roll to be ‘a bit stiff’ in the wake of a runner-up finish in Cheltenham’s Cross Country race this week, though he is expecting him to be fine for the Grand National at Aintree.

Tiger Roll relinquished his crown in the Cross Country Chase, ultimately proving no match for the impressive French youngster Easysland.

Tiger Roll at Stable

Gordon Elliott Stable Visit – Cullentra House: Two time Grand National winner Tiger Roll with trainer Gordon Elliott and groom Louise Magee during the stable visit to Gordon Elliott’s yard at Cullentra House, Co. Meath. Brian Lawless/PA Images/Ritzau Scanpix

Sore but on course for National

Elliott, who ended the Cheltenham Festival with a fantastic seven winners, reported Tiger Roll to have come out of his run without major concerns. The softer ground was not to his liking, though the teak-tough star still gave his six-year-old rival a scare before fading up the home straight.

Tiger Roll finished a long way clear of Out Sam in third spot and Elliott reported no post-race concern when he reflected on the defeat later in the week at Cheltenham.

“Tiger Roll was grand [the morning after]. A bit stiff, but he’s okay,” said the trainer.

“He got very tired. Hopefully the next couple of weeks go well, and we get back to Aintree.”

Following his Cheltenham second, Tiger Roll is a best-priced 8/1* favourite to make history by winning a third successive Grand National success on April 4th.

No fifth Festival win as Easy does it

Tiger Roll was the 8/11 favourite to win a third successive Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham but rider Keith Donoghue felt he never quite travelled with the same enthusiasm on the soft ground.

Despite that, Donoghue was able to manoeuvre Tiger Roll into a challenging position as December’s course and distance winner Easysland had begun to dictate the race from shortly after half-way.

The pair had it between themselves over the final few obstacles but, as they joined the racecourse proper for the final run, Jonathan Plouganou and Easysland had more in hand, winning in the end by 17 lengths as Tiger Roll settled for second best.

Tiger Roll’s record at the Cheltenham Festival remains a remarkable one, with his latest second adding to a pair of Cross Country victories and wins in the Triumph Hurdle (two-miles-one-furlong) and the National Hunt Chase (four-miles) previously.

Russell on the board again at Cheltenham

While Keith Donoghue was on board Tiger Roll at Cheltenham, it will be Davy Russell that takes over once more in the saddle come Aintree.

The Youghal rider continued his remarkable record in the Cotswolds as he rode Samcro to win Thursday’s Marsh Novices’ Chase for Elliott and Gigginstown; while he also partnered Chosen Mate to take Friday’s Grand Annual for the Cullentra handler.

He had, of course, steered hot favourite Envoi Allen to an impressive victory in the Ballymore earlier in the week, ensuring Elliott’s rising star remained unbeaten in the process.

Russell has partnered at least one Cheltenham Festival winner in every year since 2006, with last year’s Festival the sole exception and he remains one of the pillars of the Cotswolds experience.

The 40-year-old makes no secret of the special place that Cheltenham holds in his heart.

“Since I’ve been able to walk and talk my dad made this out to be a magical place, I’ve been lucky to witness that magic. It’s been great,” he said after winning the Grand Annual.

*Odds subject to change.

Latest News

Virtual Grand National set for April 4

The Virtual Grand National has been developed with Inspired Entertainment’s Manchester-based animation team. They use past form, the views of a panel of experts and the going and weather conditions to assess the likely outcome, but the computer makes the final decisions. Leading commentator Stewart Machin takes the mic as the race plays out virtually […]

Irish Grand National 2020 Cancelled

Unfortunately, the 2020 Irish Grand National has been cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Racing in Ireland had been taking placed behind closed doors, but the government changed their stance on March 24. The Irish Grand National is one of the biggest races on the National Hunt calendar in Ireland. Irish racing, the […]

Which horses are running in the 2021 Grand National?

After the cancellation of the Grand National 2020, Grand National 2021 Ante post markets are beginning to open and we’re seeing some horses with odds on running in the next Grand National. Below you’ll find a list of Grand National Runners leading up to Aintree 2021 as soon as we hear about them. As we […]