Tiger Roll gets top weight in bid for Grand National 3-peat

Tanya Simon
February 14, 2020

As you may have heard yesterday, Tiger Roll has been allocated joint top weight of 11 stone 10 pounds with Delta Work for this year's Grand National at Aintree on April 4th.

Red Rum won three times, but three years separated his second and third triumphs.

Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, aims to emulate the legendary Red Rum as a three-time victor of the Randox Health Grand National and, if victorious, would become the first horse to do so. consecutive years. He is the 13/2 favourite with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National.

Sarah Kinsella, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: "Tiger Roll's new rating of 170 means he is 11lb greater than his second Aintree victory, compared to the 10st 13lb he had to carry when he won his first Grand National in 2018".

Ten horses have been given 11st or more and Greenwood said: "This year, 73% of the horses entered are in the handicap".

We are 4lbs worse off with Magic of Light [2¾ lengths behind in second last year]. Nickel Coin in 1951 is the latest mare to win the Aintree spectacular. The other mares engaged are Shattered Love (Gordon Elliott IRE, 10st 6lb), Atalanta Ablaze (Henry Daly, 9st 13lb), Cabaret Queen (Willie Mullins IRE, 9st 13lb).

Walk In The Mill, fourth (Robert Walford, 10th 4lb), was the best of the runners trained in Britain in 2019.

The 2017 victor One For Arthur (Lucinda Russell, 10st 2lb) is the other previous Grand National winner among the entries. His rating of 148 is the same as he had in 2017. Dual Becher Chase victor Walk In The Mill, trained by Yorkshire-born Robert Walford, was fourth past year and is on 10st 4lb. The J.P McManus owned 8-year old will carry 10st 6lb should he run in what would be his first attempt around the Liverpool track.

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However, Eddie O'Leary - brother of Gigginstown supremo Michael - has repeatedly stated Tiger Roll would only bid for another National win if connections were satisfied with his allotted rating, and the immediate reaction to his mark of 170 and the compression of the handicap was one of frustration.

"This choice was made basically on two elements - historic compression which was introduced in by Phil Smith and has been used for the final 10 years or so".

"Tiger Roll was rated 172 at the end of a year ago and obviously there is no recent evidence to go on because of his fitness issues, so his handicap mark has been unquantifiable since", he said. Many Clouds gained off 11st 9lb, however he didn't have as excessive a score.

Before all that, Tiger Roll is due to run at Navan in the Boyne Hurdleon Sunday - it could be a last outing in Ireland.

Sunday's rivals could also include the horse that chased him home at Aintree past year, the Jessica Harrington-trained Magic Of Light.

An early spin over fences in December rubber-stamped his qualification and Willie Mullins, his canny handler, then sent him hurdling at Punchestown, where he showed his class to score with authority, much in the style of Tiger Roll in last February's Boyne Hurdle. Other horses towards the top include Bristol de Mai and Native River. Bristol de Mai was rated 173 when he entered past year and that number has been reduced to 168. I've dropped Native River 2lb to 166 as Bristol De Mai has completed in entrance of him the final couple of instances they've met, and I believed he was workmanlike when profitable at Newbury on Saturday. The welfare of the horse we feel is far more important to us than the race.

The race includes the winners of numerous "nationals", including the most recent Irish (Burrows Saint), Scottish (Takingrisks) and Welsh (Potters Corner). "It's a handicap as good as it would be to run." anywhere.

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