Tiger Roll "50-50" to run in the Grand National after being handed top weight

Tue 11 Feb 2020

Tiger Roll is said to be only "50-50" to run in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree in April, where he would bid to emulate the great Red Rum with three victories over the famous fences.

Not unexpectedly, connections of the Gordon Elliott-trained 10-year-old expressed themselves disappointed at the way the weights have been framed for the race, in which he would carry top-weight of 11st 10lb, the same weight allotted to stablemate Delta Work, the winner of the Irish Gold Cup.

After much speculation, it was confirmed that Tiger Roll's official rating of 172 would be compressed by a couple of pounds, but with the handicapper having given the same treatment to Bristol De Mai and Native River, he would have to concede 2lb and 4lb respectively to those proven Grade One performers.

Gordon Elliott gives his reaction to Tiger Roll's weight ahead of a possible bid for a third Grand National

A four-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival, Tiger Roll is due to return to action in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan this weekend.

Eddie O'Leary, racing manager for his brother Michael's Gigginstown House Stud, told Sky Sports Racing: "This horse loves the discipline - any horse competing around Aintree loves the discipline, they wouldn't be there otherwise. These horses come alive at Aintree over the fences, the absolutely love the discipline.

"He was always going to carry 11st 10lb, we understand that, but it's how he's compressed in regards to other horses.

"Native River - a Gold Cup winner - hacked up last Saturday. He's been compressed 2lb and we have to give him 4lb. I see something very unfair there.

"The handicapper has his job to do and he's done it. We wanted more (compression in the handicap). The decision is now in our hands whether we run or not. Tiger is invaluable to us and we have to look after him.

"He was definitely going to be entered in the Betway Bowl and probably the Punchestown Gold Cup. Hopefully he comes through the Navan test, he's coming back after a setback - he won't win, obviously, but if just pulls up with a smile on his face that will do us and then go on to Cheltenham and hopefully show us more there.

"Then we'll decide, but at the moment it's 50-50. The Betway Bowl is definitely coming into calculations now."

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