In 2019, Gordon Eliott-trained Tiger Roll became the first horse since the legendary Red Rum in the 1970s to record back-to-back Grand National victories, however there were until recently a few doubts as to whether the diminutive chaser would be given the opportunity to make it three on the bounce after being burdened with top weight for the famous steeplechase.
Eddie O’Leary has now stated that Tiger Roll WILL take part in the 2020 Randox Health Grand National, the Gigginstown racing manager saying:
“We have decided that Tiger Roll will definitely run in the Grand National.
“Provided everything goes OK on his return to action at Navan on Sunday, and in the cross country at Cheltenham next month.”
The winner of the 2018 and 2019 Grand Nationals has been given a weight of 11st 10lb, making him joint-top weight for the race alongside stablemate Delta Work. He hasn’t made any appearances since last year when he triumphed by two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Magic Of Light, the latter some 4lb better off this time around with a burden of 10st 12lb.
In all honesty, was Tiger Roll’s participation really in that much doubt? There may have been plenty of harrumphing from connections following the revealing of the weights, however the prospect of the runner making history was surely too much for owner Michael O’Leary to ignore. Nevertheless it is good to have solid confirmation and while he might not match Red Rum and achieve immortality in Grand National history, it is massive for the sport that there is another contender that can have a go.
Anyone less than middle-aged won’t have any image of Red Rum racing at Aintree, however a modern-day Grand National icon would certainly be tremendous! Might it happen on April 4th?