Grand National Steeplechase Horses Running

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 Tiger Roll 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?

Horses racing at Randox Health Grand National

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 seal his place in sporting folklore as he’ll go down in the books as one of the greatest jockeys to have raced at Aintree Racecourse.

In 2018, he carried 10st 13lb after being rated at 150, last year he carried 11st 5lb in the Grand National and with a rating of 172 for 2020, it seems he’ll carry top weight for the highly celebrated race.

Whilst neither Michael or Eddie have given too much away about what they’d deem as an ‘acceptable weight’, they made it clear that Tiger Roll wouldn’t be running if it was an unfair amount and that he should receive the same fair chance as every other topweight has in previous years.

O’Leary stated: “We have a little sensation on our hands who we’ve been very open about and the fact he will not be asked to run in the race if the weights aren’t compressed.”

“We don’t mind carrying top weight, that’s a given, but the weights will need to be compressed in order for Tiger Roll to run.”

We hope that Elliot’s stud will run and have the opportunity to cement his legacy in the World’s greatest steeplechase. He fell subject of an injury scare, suffering a chip to the hip earlier this season which has ruled him out of action until later this Spring, although he’s now being reported to be back in good health.

Before running in the £1 million contest, he’s set to defend his crown in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan on February 16. This will be great prep for the Grand National later in the season, where Tiger Roll and jockey, Davy Russell will look to seal a dream third win.

Either way, they’ll be talking about this little horse for decades to come.

Davy Russell - Tiger Roll's Jockey on his mount
Grand National Hospitality - Corporate Packages at Aintree Racecourse 2019

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