Tiger Roll seeks Grand National hat-trick in 2020
Tiger Roll made history in 2019, becoming the first horse in 45 years to win back-to-back titles in the Randox Health Grand National. The same feat had not been achieved since 1973-74 when the legendary Red Rum took Aintree Racecourse by storm.
In 2018, he won in dramatic fashion. Under Davy Russell, the duo stayed behind the leaders for the majority before charging out to contest Willie Mullins-trained horse, Pleasant Company. Heading to the last the mighty horse jumped it ahead of Pleasant Company to steam away and despite Pleasant Company’s late efforts, Gordon Elliott’s stable star held on to win by a nose!
Michael O’Leary’s horse was the shortest-priced runner in 100 years last season too and proved he is a force to be reckoned with. Magic of Light led the pack coming towards the final fences, with Tiger Roll staying comfortably behind despite a few errors. But the little horse showed he had heart and when Russell asked the nine-year-old to perform, he sure listened. At the second last, Tiger Roll out jumped Magic of Light before beginning to clear at the elbow and breeze to an easy three-length win.
Elliott’s charge will look to produce something just as spectacular in 2020 too, as he seeks the hat-trick. The bookmakers have made him the headline act amongst the 105 entries in this year’s National, albeit he’s up against some stronger stayers, including 2017 champion, One For Arthur who will look to reclaim his crown.
There’s no denying the stakes are high for Tiger Roll as another success in the renowned race would equal and somewhat better the record set by Ginger McCain’s stud, Red Rum, who triumphed in the Grand National three times between 1973 and 1977.
No horse has won the Grand National three successive times! Could Tiger Roll be the first?
Tiger Roll won’t run if he’s treated unfairly…
Michael’s brother, Eddie O’Leary has warned that if Tiger Roll is to contest in the Aintree showpiece, officials need to treat him with the same respect as previous Grand National topweights such as Red Rum, The Colonel and Reynoldstown. He was the smallest horse in the race last year and yet still made to carry 6lbs more in weights than in the 2018 Grand National.
Eddie made a remark about the fact that the majority of topweights had been given lighter weights than their official marks throughout the past decade and doesn’t want Tiger Roll to be underhanded, making it clear that the 10-year-old would only run if the weights are compressed.
In an interview with the Racing Post, he pointed out that “Synchronised in 2012 was 6lb lower” than the previous year and “in 2013 Tidal Bay was compressed 11lb and the following year by 7lb.”
“In 2015 Carlingford Lough was compressed 5lb and Bristol De Mai was 5lb lower last year. What does that tell you?”
All of the team at Gigginstown House are eager for the horse to run, including Davy Russell who’s been on board for both triumphs. A third win will also see him seal his place in sporting folklore and go down in the books as one of the greatest jockeys to have raced at Aintree Racecourse.