Update 26.03.19 Following massive backing of 2018 Grand National winner Tiger Roll, the Gordon Elliott-trained runner has now fallen to as short as 7/2 with most bookmakers to become the first horse since Red Rum to win more than one Grand National.
Should Tiger Roll triumph at this price in the famous steeplechase, then it will be the shortest-priced winner of the Grand National since its inception. Joint-second in the outright winner market are Anibale Fly and Rathvinden at 10/1 apiece.
Should Tiger Roll romp home to victory on April 6th, then it would certainly be the worst result for bookmakers in the history of the race and they weren’t given much in the way of comfort when official handicapper described last year’s winner as “8lb well in”. Martin Greenwood raised the runner’s official rating by this amount following his win at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month and admitted that it was possibly a somewhat conservative figure.
This assessment by the BHA senior handicapper heightened trainer Gordon Elliott’s confidence that Tiger Roll could achieve something which no other Grand National runner has ever accomplished, with the obvious exception of Red Rum.
“He’s a horse of a lifetime,” Elliott said about the nine-year-old last week.
“He’s come out of Cheltenham very well and the plan is to go for the National. Obviously I’ll have to discuss it with Eddie and Michael [O’Leary] but I can’t see any reason why he won’t be running there next.
“I spoke to the English handicapper yesterday and he said he put him up 8lb for winning the Cross Country, and he might have been easy on him giving him that, as he could have put him up 10lb or more. But, because it was the Cross Country race, he only put him up 8lb.”
Gordon Elliott tasted Grand National success in 2018 when Tiger Roll romped home to victory and his preparations this year have been excellent with a 22-length victory in the Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham Festival earlier this month, the second year in succession that the runner has triumphed in this showpiece event.
Indeed the runner has now won four times at the festival with previous successes coming in the National Hunt Chase and the Triumph Hurdle. The nine-year-old went off as 5/4 favourite in the Glenfarclas and the outcome really wasn’t in much doubt despite the gruelling trip, Keith Donohue steering him clear from closest rivals Josies Orders in second position and last year’s runner-up Urgent De Gregaine.
“He’s definitely a legend in my eyes. Some horse, some performance. He tanked up the whole way and kept going.
“He he has the heart of a lion.”
Gordon Elliott was playing cautious as to Tiger Roll’s chances of winning the Grand National for a second time, the trainer saying: “Everyone knows it’s been a rough week. Horses haven’t been running up to par, a few of them haven’t been good enough and things haven’t been working.
“We’re lucky enough that we’ve got a good bunch of owners and a good bunch of horses. We’ll keep smiling and keep kicking. This horse has won at four Cheltenham Festivals now and a Grand National. He’s our first winner of the week and I won’t forget him.
“In his last run in the Boyne Hurdle he looked as good as he ever was and today he was brilliant. I’m very lucky to have him.
“You win the Grand National by accident and we’ve won it twice. It’s a big ask for this horse to do it again, but what he has done there today has been brilliant and we’ll enjoy it.
“To win at four Cheltenham Festivals is class.”
Tiger Roll’s recent successes have had the bookmakers running scared with Ladbrokes of the opinion that there is a very real possibility that the Irish-based horse may become the shortest-priced winner of the famous steeplechase in the last 100 years. Indeed should he win at his current odds of just 5/1, then that would make him the shortest price of any winner since Harry Escott’s Poethlyn in 1919.
The question is, can Tiger Roll be beaten on April 6th?
An interesting outsider in the race is Lake View Lad who has been backed heavily since his third-place finish in the Ultima at Cheltenham. The Nick Alexander runner is currently up for grabs at 20/1 and it would appear that he would have every chance of success given that he has three-time Grand National winning owner Trevor Hemmings behind him.