Tiger Roll handed 1965 Chase entry
Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll could make a welcome return to Ascot after trainer Gordon Elliott decided against a run at Cheltenham.
Eleven-year-old Tiger Roll wasn’t declared for the Jewson Click And Collect Handicap Chase last weekend and instead connections are looking at the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot as his starting point for the season.
Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O’Leary has made it clear that the principal objective for Tiger Roll will once again be the cross-country chase at Cheltenham festival in just four months’ time and as things stand, an appearance in the Grand National on April 9th is just a possibility.
With regard to a possible appearance this weekend, O’Leary said: “He’s got an entry for Ascot this weekend but I don’t know whether he’ll run or not. We want him to run him somewhere shortly and that’ll be wherever Gordon [Elliott] decides.”
As well as his heroics in the Randox Grand National, Tiger Roll has no less than five Cheltenham Festival triumphs to his name, most recently the cross-country event last season.
Since pulling up in the Clonmel Oil Chase in 2017, the 1965 Chase will be the shortest distance over fences that the veteran jumper has contested.
The potential field for the race includes course and distance winner Dashel Drasher who has won his five starts here as well as Lostintranslation, winner of the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Tiger Roll will primarily be aimed towards a defence of his cross-country crown at Prestbury Park in March and owners Gigginstown House Stud will be aiming for the 11-year-old’s mark in the UK to be lowered from 167 before they will consider entering him into the 2022 Randox Grand National.
O’Leary said earlier this month: “Hopefully he’ll go for the cross country at Cheltenham and then we’ll see how the handicapper is with the National, his aim is the cross country and after that we’ll see.
“It’ll depend on the English handicapper. The Irish handicapper has him at 155 but they won’t accept it in England, they won’t budge.
“Even the Irish handicapper has dropped him 7lb since he won at Cheltenham, but your man won’t budge, so the aim is the cross country at Cheltenham again.”