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Would Tiger Roll have managed the Grand National circuit in Red Rum’s day?

Donald McCain believes that Tiger Roll wouldn’t have coped with the Aintree jumps had he been entered into the Grand National in Red Rum’s day. Donald’s father Ginger trained Red Rum when he clinched a historic three wins in 1973, 1974 and 1977, however Tiger Roll is aiming to go one better by winning three times in succession, assuming that he is actually entered into the big race following the announcement of the weights on February 11th.

McCain said: “Is it the same race? No, not in a million years. What you have now is a horse that is the most efficient jumper of the new type of Grand National fence. He only gets three-quarters of the way up, he almost jumps them like a bullfinch. Could he do that round the old National fences? No.

“The race has changed beyond all recognition. You have to remember in those days it used to be 6-1 just to get round.”

McCain was pleased that Tiger Roll won for a second time for trainer Gordon Elliott last year, adding: “Growing up I thought I’d be really upset when a horse won a second Grand National, but I rang Gordon the morning after saying well done and it was a great spectacle.” 

McCain doesn’t have any runners entered into the 2020 Randox Health Grand National, however he will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of the weights on Tuesday afternoon and feels that the official handicapper should show no mercy towards Tiger Roll.

“Red Rum was topweight every year after his first year,” he said. “In the space of two years the turn around in weight with dual Gold Cup winner L’Escargot was 33lb. I know Dad would have been insulted if it had been any different.

“If they don’t want to run, that’s fine. No one horse is bigger than the Grand National, which is still the greatest race in the world. I’m pretty certain he’ll turn up, though. The horse is absolutely great for racing and Gordon is doing a great job with him.”