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Tiger Roll set for return over Hurdles this weekend
Two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll is all set to make a welcome return to hurdles when he lines up at Navan on Saturday afternoon.
Gordon Elliott had been considering the Boyne Hurdle for the Aintree hero later next month, but the trainer will likely decide upon this weekend’s Navan Handicap Hurdle which takes place over a distance of two and a half miles.
Tiger Roll hasn’t contested a handicap hurdle since he appeared at the Punchestown Festival back in 2016, however the 12-year-old has appeared in the last three Grade 2 Boyne Hurdles, triumphing in the contest in 2019 but finishing down the field in the following two seasons.
Tiger Roll avenged his 17-length defeat to Easysland in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival by beating his rival by 18 lengths in the same contest twelve months later. Nevertheless there hasn’t been much joy yielded in two subsequent outings over standard fences at Aintree and as such, his next step looks set to be Navan on Saturday.
Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O’Leary said that there is no definite plan for Tiger Roll at Navan and trainer Gordon Elliott will ultimately be given the final say.
O’Leary said: “I haven’t spoken to Gordon yet about the plan for him but he’s got an entry and it’ll be up to Gordon on whether he wants to run him.
“I know the plan had been the Boyne Hurdle [on February 20]. He doesn’t have a published hurdles mark, but at least the Irish handicapper has been fair to him in terms of his chase rating of 155 over here.
“He’s still stuck on a higher mark in Britain and they don’t publish his rating over there. He doesn’t appear in the end-of-year classifications either despite having a high enough mark to do so.”