Tiger Roll is bidding to become the first runner since Red Rum in 1974 to triumph in the Grand National in consecutive years, however the prospects of the Gordon Elliot-trained horse managing this feat became slimmer following the announcement today that top-weight Bristol De Mai would be scratched from the famous steeplechase.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies runner was lined-up to carry 11st 10lb in the 2019 Grand National, however his withdrawal has meant that all remaining runners will be required to carry an additional four pounds more, taking Tiger Roll’s weight to 11st 5lb as opposed to the 10st 13lb he carried in his 2018 victory. This has had little impact on his odds on winning the race with most bookmakers still going 7/2 despite the latest announcement.
Having run his best race at the Cheltenham Festival to date when finishing third behind Al Bout Photo in the Gold Cup two weeks ago, Bristol De Mai connections have opted to aim the horse in the direction of the Betway Bowl on the opening day of the Grand National meeting instead, trainer Twiston-Davies saying: “He’s fine and the plan is to run in the Bowl.
“It was just decided that on his Gold Cup form he ought to win the Bowl and it’s possibly the easier option.
“He’s in good form.”
Bristol De Mai finished a disappointing fifth in the Betway Bowl in 2017 but finished runner-up to Might Bite the following year.
Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly has now been burdened with top-weight for the Grand National and he is second-favourite to win the big race following his excellent showing when finishing second in the Gold Cup.