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Tiger Roll emulates Red Rum in Grand National

Date: 04/10/2019

The money continued to come for Tiger Roll on the run up to the National as he looked to back up his victory from 2018. This was for good reason, as the lengthy wait is now over! Tiger Roll became the first horse since Red Rum in 1974, to defend their crown in the world’s most famous race. A staggering achievement and one that now pushes the small horse into legendary status. This was also another indication as to why the Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old is the most versatile National Hunt horse in training.

Tiger went the same path as last season, with firstly a victory in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival before success in the National. However, he was only victorious in 2018 by a photo, so there were still many looking to take him on. Tiger went into the race running off a mark 9lb higher than last season, but following a remarkable performance at Cheltenham, he was very well in.

He had proved his well-being prior to this when making his reappearance in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan over a sharp trip of just 2 miles 5f in February. Elliott had stressed that the horse would improve greatly for the run and with it being such a sharp test, he was sent off at odds of 25/1. They thought he would do well not to finish last, so to put in the performance he did was jaw dropping. Tiger travelled ominously well throughout the race before easing clear on the bridle, in what was the first key indication that the horse was in fine fettle. This is why he went to Cheltenham as the banker and duly obliged as the easiest winner of the week by 22 lengths.

Tiger Roll went into the National 8lb well in following this performance, and there really was hardly a moment's worry. He took Davy into the race with ease and bar two small errors late on, was one of the easiest winners of the race for some time.

So what is next? Tiger Roll is still just nine years of age, which is remarkable considering what the horse has already achieved. He is already a short price for next year’s National, but his owner has stressed this is unlikely as he is a small horse and would almost definitely have to shoulder top weight. Tiger is being aimed at a third Cross Country success at Cheltenham, and if in the same form will be the banker for all, and the horse racing betting will make him a very short price. Victory here would make him one of the most successful horses in history, with not just two Grand Nationals but FIVE Cheltenham Festival victories. Tiger Roll is a legend.

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