Trainer Gordon Elliott has announced that two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll will be contesting two races after the turn of the year before being aimed at the 2020 Randox Health Grand National on April 4th. Once again, Tiger Roll will be partnered by Davy Russell as he looks to make history by becoming the first ever horse to win the Grand National three years on the trot.
The runner is also being prepared for the 2020 Cheltenham Festival and a possible fifth win at the meeting, however it has been made clear that the intention is not to run him too often throughout the season.
Red Rum triumphed in the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977 with two second-placed finishes, however no runner has won the race three times in succession.
Owner Michael O’Leary had previously stated that bidding for a historic third win was unlikely, however Gordon Elliott has made it clear that an appearance at the 2020 renewal is on the cards.
The trainer said in an interview with Aintree Racecourse:
“We are going to have to mind him now and pick and choose where we go.
“He will probably have one run over hurdles, maybe something like the Boyne Hurdle [in Navan in February] again.
“He will go back to Cheltenham [in March] for the Cross Country race and then we’ll go for the Randox Health Grand National.”
This announcement is no huge surprise given that it was always going to be difficult for O’Leary and his team to resist the chance of Tiger Roll entering the history books. There have been plenty of rumblings about the runner receiving too much weight, however the fact is that this horse thrives at Aintree as he negotiates the famous obstacles with relative ease.
Red Rum is the undoubted legend in Grand National history, however will there be another one in 2020?