Wed, 22 Jan 2020

Tiger Roll added his name into the history books back in April by becoming the first horse in 45 years to retain his crown in the Grand National at Aintree, the most famous steeplechase chase in the world.

Trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, the 10-year-old chaser has been installed as the 7/1 favourite by the bookmakers to once again return to Merseyside for the four-mile-and-two-and-half-furlong contest and come out on top for a record-equalling third time.

Tiger Roll first won the Grand National on his debut in 2018. He came into the race on Merseyside on the back of success at the Cheltenham Festival in the Cross Country Chase and was able to get the better of Pleasant Company in a tight finish.

Elliott's runner had to carry six pounds more on his back in the 2019 running of the contest. Again, he prevailed on the back of victory in the Cross Country Chase at the biggest meeting of the year on the National Hunt Calendar.

After his win last April, connections were coy about the prospect of an attempt at a third Grand National. They have recently confirmed that the Aintree feature will be the horse's number one target for the 2019/20 campaign.

The leading opposition to Tiger Roll in 2020 is likely to include fellow Irish raider Burrows Saint who is trained by Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins. He was the winner of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse earlier this year. For more on the runners set to line up in 2020, look out for Grand National tips and predictions from Betfair.

Given how easily he won the race back in April, Tiger Roll looks certain to have to carry top weight on his back in his hat-trick bid. The last horse to win the race from that position on the card was Red Rum in 1977 who was allocated 11st 8lb.

Tiger Roll isn't likely to make his seasonal reappearance until February, at the earliest, with the Boyne Hurdle, the race he won in 2019, his target. That Grade Two hurdle contest will be used to sharpen up the Irish horse, rather than an indication of the path he will take in the final two months of the season.

The dual-Grand National winner underwent an operation last month to remove a small chip in his leg joint. Elliott has reported that the procedure went well and his horse is set to be back in full training in the near future.

If the Boyne Hurdle does come too soon for Tiger Roll, the Cross Country Chase will then be his first appearance of the season. That race will almost certainly be his final run before the Grand National a month later.

Connections of the 'once in a lifetime horse' will find out in February what weight their runner has been allocated in the Grand National weights launch, with the big race schedule to take place on April 4, in what could be an historic moment for Irish horse racing.

More Dublin News

Access More

Sign up for Dublin News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!