Tiger Roll roars in to select Festival club with third Cheltenham win

Wed 14 Mar 2018

By staff

Tiger Roll entered a select pantheon when he won for the third time at the Cheltenham Festival in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

With victories in the Triumph Hurdle and four-mile National Hunt Chase under his belt already, he emulated his Gordon Elliott-trained stablemate Cause Of Causes - this time unplaced - with three successes to his name.

The only other horses to have achieved the feat were the legendary Flyingbolt, Bob's Worth and Vautour.

Always towards the head of affairs, the eight-year-old was settled just behind the pacesetting Beeves and his only real moment of danger was when another stable companion, Bless The Wings, fell early on and nearly brought him down.

His jockey Keith Donoghue took time out of the saddle not too long ago with weight problems, but could always count on the support of Elliott and has been rewarded with a first Festival winner.

Sent off at 7-1, Tiger Roll took up the running before entering the racecourse proper and while French challenger Urgent De Gregaine threw down a good challenge, he could only close to within two lengths. The Last Samuri did his Grand National chances no harm by finishing third.

Donoghue said: "That was brilliant. He jumped brilliant the whole way and travelled well.

"I thought he would win, my only worry was the ground.

"He comes alive round here - he loves it.

"If it wasn't for Gordon I wouldn't be standing here as I struggle with my weight."

Tiger Roll is owned by Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud operation.

O'Leary said: "This is a family pet now. He loved it.

"He hates everywhere else, but he loves Cheltenham. I wish I had a few more like him.

"He's a little rat of a thing, but he's the heart of a lion."

Elliott said: "He is a good horse and he has been very lucky for us. To win three races at Cheltenham is brilliant. He has been a great servant so I am absolutely thrilled and delighted. I'm delighted for Keith Donoghue as he had to lose 7lb to ride the horse. Today was his day.

"He is in the National so we will see and I will talk to Eddie and Michael (O'Leary). It's another winner here and that will keep them going for a while. It would be the Irish National, if any, as that is more prize money.

"He will definitely be back here next year as he is still a young horse. I don't know what it is about here, but it is brilliant. It is just different horses for courses."

Of Cause of Causes, he said: "Jamie (Codd) said he was flat out. I was worried about the ground and it never happened today. He is a bit sore so we will see how is."

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