We may still be in February but the anticipation for the 2020 Randox Health Grand National is steadily building. This famous steeplechase isn’t usually built around one horse – at least not since the 1970s with Red Rum – however this year promises to be very different with all eyes set to be on two-time winner Tiger Roll. For those whose knowledge of jumps racing is limited, we’ll tell you why this is a big deal.
Red Rum dominated the Grand National in the 1970s with three victories in the world-famous race, in 1973, 1974 and 1977. This record has looked more and more impressive every year since then with no subsequent runner managing to win the race more than once. Indeed it was conventional wisdom to accept that this would prove to be the case for the foreseeable future, however along came Tiger Roll with a narrow win in 2018 and a far more commanding one the following year.
At just 15 hands, Tiger Roll is small for a racehorse and he certainly doesn’t look to be the type which could handle the gruelling 4-mile marathon, not to mention the demanding jumps along the way. Nevertheless the diminutive Gordon Elliott chaser seems to have a special engine and an ability to turn it on when the need arises, as proven when winning at the Cheltenham Festival on four occasions, this in itself a remarkable achievement which has been equalled by very few horses.
Tiger Roll is a general 5/1 shot for Grand National glory in 2020 although it certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion that he will once again finish first past the post on 4th April. The betting suggests that he will face stiff challenges from the likes of Any Second Now (12/1), Burrows Saint (12/1), Kimberlite Candy (16/1) and Potters Corner (20/1). Indeed 35 other runners will compete in the steeplechase including last year’s runner-up Magic Of Light at 16/1.
Nevertheless Tiger Roll has proven already that he is well suited to the Aintree marathon and he certainly thrives when in the spotlight. The runner has never before fallen in a race and this is certainly an impressive feat given his relatively diminutive size.
That said, it’s easy to let emotions dominate over common sense, especially on a big occasion such as the Grand National. The odds of 5/1 are decent enough, however should punters continue to pour money towards the two-time winner, then these odds will shorten significantly. Let’s not forget that 100/1 winners are far more common than 2/1 ones in this race and this is worth considering.
Either way, this year’s renewal of the Grand National will have viewers glued to their TVs like never before and the only big question is whether or not Tiger Roll can make it into the history books!