The Tiger is Back
Tiger Roll wins the Cross Country Chase at the 2021 Cheltenham festival
Tiger Roll announced his return in emphatic fashion when winning the Cross Country Chase at the 2021 Cheltenham festival with a thoroughly convincing performance this afternoon. The two-time Grand National winner – under the guidance of Keith Donoghue – successfully avenged his thorough defeat to Easysland in this very race twelve months ago by finishing some 18 lengths clear of the defending champion in the Prestbury Park sunshine. This result has lifted Tiger Roll into the history books by becoming the first horse ever to win the Cheltenham Champion Chase on three occasions.
This was Tiger Roll’s fifth win at the Cheltenham Festival, this win adding to his two previous triumphs in the Cross Country in 2018 and 2019 as well as his victory in the Triumph Hurdle in 2014 and National Hunt Chase in 2017. Indeed this was a much-needed win for the diminutive 11-year-old given that he had been hugely disappointing in his last three outings.
The 9/2 second-favourite won for Denise Foster who stepped in following the imposition of trainer Gordon Elliott’s six-month ban.
Tiger Roll was withdrawn from the 2021 Randox Grand National earlier this month following a row over an alleged unfair weight. The runner would otherwise have been looking to match the legendary Red Rum as being the second horse to win the Aintree spectacular on three separate occasions.
Jockey Keith Donoghue was understandably delighted following the race this afternoon.
“It’s unbelievable for him to come back and do it again,” he said.
“I’m just speechless – it’s absolutely brilliant. He means everything to me.
“If it wasn’t for this horse, I wouldn’t be riding. It’s as simple as that.
“Never underestimate the Tiger – a lot of people underestimated him. We all kept the faith in him – we know the horse he is, and he showed us that today.
“He loved it, and that’s the Tiger we’ve seen at home.
“I’m delighted he showed that on the track today. He’s just a legend.”