In April 2019, Tiger Roll etched his name alongside the mighty Red Rum into the Grand National history books, when, against all odds (apart from the bookmakers), he won his second successive Grand National.
It was a feat of stunning magnitude, as the diminutive horse instantly became the darling of the Horse Racing world following his stunning successes at both Aintree and Cheltenham alike.
However, following the triumph, Tiger Roll’s owner, Michael O’Leary, was quick to ground any notion of a 2020 Grand National appearance – saying : ” It’s very unlikely that he’ll come back and run in it again next year. He will be carrying top-weight, he is a small horse and every time he runs now I get nervous – I’d hate for anything unfortunate to happen to him while he’s racing. For his sake and for the sake of the race, I really wouldn’t want to bring him back shouldering huge lumps of weight. Tiger Roll isn’t Red Rum – he’s Tiger Roll – and I feel no pressure to go back and try to win a third time. There’s huge public affection for him and I think we’re duty-bound to mind him now.”
O ‘Leary added : “His main target this year was the cross-country in Cheltenham and I think that will probably be his main target again next year. I would be strongly of the view that if he was to win the cross-country in Cheltenham next year for a third time – which would be his fifth win in Cheltenham – I would see no reason not to retire him at that point in time and let him go out on a high.”
But, after the horse spent the summer at O’Leary’s Gigginstown facility, it seems a change of heart has happened, and trainer Gordon Elliott has just released via social media a feature that more than suggests, if all goes to plan, that Tiger Roll WILL be going back to Aintree for an attempt to win an unprecedented third successive Grand National – which if achieved, will surpass the feats of even the mighty Red Rum, who won 3, but finished second twice between his second and third triumphs.
The feature will set the hearts racing of all National Hunt enthusiasts alight with excitement and anticipation – with just a tinge of fear and trepidation. Tiger Roll owes nobody anything, and all concerned – directly or indirectly – will simply be praying for a safe return should he make Aintree, with that third win simply being the gravy on an already amazing dinner that Tiger Roll has provided – should it happen. Ante post bets will no doubt already be being taken by UK bookmakers with the news from Gordon Elliott – and whilst the Grand National is already one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, it looks like the 2020 renewal could just be the one to top them all.
Good luck Tiger!!!