Tiger represents a solid ante-post investment for National

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

Last April Gordon Elliott’s superstar chaser Tiger Roll became the first back-to back Grand National winner since the legendary Red Rum in 1974. Three years later Red Rum wrote his name into racing folklore when becoming the only three-time National winner for trainer Ginger McCain.

Fast forward to this April however and there is a serious chance that Tiger Roll can join Red Rum atop the National pile and indeed one could argue that if winning his three consecutive Nationals would represent an even greater achievement.

Win, lose or draw on the day Tiger Roll at current odds of 7/1* with bet365 and Unibet represents very solid value. Not that his chance is a great deal better than that price but barring a catastrophic loss of form he is sure to be a heavily backed favourite come the day. He was very popular on the run up to the race last year and even after drifting on the morning he went off as the 4/1* favourite making him the shortest priced winning favourite since Poethlyn 100 years earlier.

With the public love affair with this horse clear for all to see and with the publicity that his history making bid will attract it is easy to envisage him going off even shorter this time around. The fact that he will likely be carrying top-weight and attempting to win off a mark in the 170s will not be something that the once a year punter will be remotely interested in and whatever happens off course, the on course bookmaker will surely be besieged by Tiger Roll backers ensuring that he is a mile off current odds of 7/1* come the off.

Backing Gordon Elliott’s pride and joy right now should put punters in a great position come April. Whether content with 7/1* for a horse likely around half that price, using his popularity to build a strong race portfolio or even laying off for a stress free profit his 7/1* odds really ought to be taken.

The slight concern is owner Michael O’Leary threatening not to run at Aintree due to his huge handicap rating but trainer Gordon Elliott has made clear that all roads again lead to Cheltenham then Aintree so hopefully that is more O’Leary voicing frustration rather than seriously considering turning down this potentially historic bid.

Of course the way he is priced on the day will be influenced by the expected two runs he has between now and April. Last year he won a Grade Two hurdle at 25/1* in February before defending his crown by some 22L in the Cheltenham Cross Country Chase and the same pathway to Aintree is likely ahead.

Whatever happens over hurdles will be taken with a pinch of salt but a third Cross Country win would surely see his odds plummet as a year ago. Given this most remarkable horse has won at four Cheltenham Festivals already he will be even harder to oppose in March where he will be facing horses mostly rated vastly inferior at level weights so leaving it until the day gives the very real possibility of backing a horse in a 40-runner race at odds of less than 5/1* if you fancy him. Therefore now is the time to get on Tiger Roll ahead of his April date with destiny.

*All odds subject to change.

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