Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll is set to appear in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next month. How he performs in that race could influence his connections’ decision on whether to run their horse in the Aintree contest again.
Tiger Roll has not been at his best so far this season. The 11-year-old was pulled up in his last outing on the cross country course at Prestbury Park. It was the first time he had not completed a race since November 2017.
Gordon Elliott’s runner has odds for Cheltenham 2021 of +500 for the Cross Country Chase. The Irish horse won that unique contest in 2018 and 2019 but he had to settle for second place last year behind Easysland.
Tiger Roll will get another chance to compete with Easysland this year as the French horse is set to return to the festival to defend his crown. David Cottin’s horse has proved to be a specialist in these races over the last couple of seasons, so it is set to be a strong test for the Grand National champion.
Given how poorly their horse has featured in his last two appearances, connections of Tiger Roll will want to see much more from their runner at Cheltenham. He will need to be competitive at the very least for them to be confident that he should have another shot at the world’s most famous steeplechase.
Tiger Roll Handed Tough Weight Assignment
The chief handicapper for the Grand National revealed the weights for the marathon contest at Aintree earlier this month and it was announced that Tiger Roll will need to carry 11st 9lb if he lines up.
Multiple Grade One winner Bristol De Mai, Easysland and Cheltenham Gold Cup runner up Santini are the highest rated horses in the field at 167. They must have 11st 10lb on their backs this year.
Tiger Roll has been given an official rating of 166 along with Delta Work and Presenting Percy. That means he will have 4lb more to carry than when he last scored in the race in 2019.
History There To be Made
The 2018 and 2019 Grand National winner is bidding to equal the record of the most wins in the Grand National this year. Red Rum is the only horse to have prevailed in the prestigious National Hunt contest three times, he achieved that feat in 1977.
Tiger Roll is unbeaten around the Grand National course. His first win was a narrow success in 2018 when he just got the better of Pleasant Company in a close finish at the Merseyside track. 12 months later, his margin of victory was bigger as there were just under three lengths between the horse and the rest of the field at the finish line.
Many of his fans hope he gets the chance to add his name to the history books alongside Red Rum. He currently tops the betting at +1200 for the race in April. Those odds will likely shorten if he passes his test at Cheltenham in what could prove to be a big moment in his career.