Tiger Roll aims to become first back-to-back Grand National winner since Red Rum as trainer Gordon Elliott labels him ‘horse of a lifetime’
- There was talk post-Cheltenham that Tiger Roll may step aside at Aintree
- But Gordon Elliot is satisfied at handicapper’s revised National mark
- ‘I can’t see any reason at the moment why we won’t be going there’, he said
Trainer Gordon Elliott declared Tiger Roll a ‘horse of a lifetime’ on Tuesday and committed last year’s Grand National hero to a date with destiny at Aintree next month.
Last week’s cross-country chase winner would become the first horse since the legendary Red Rum 45 years ago to win back-to-back Grand Nationals if he pulls off the rare feat at Liverpool in three weeks’ time.
There was talk post-Cheltenham that Tiger Roll may sidestep the National with owner Michael O’Leary expressing doubts about his participation on a point of handicapping.
Keith Donoghue rode Tiger Roll to victory at Cheltenham in the Glenfarclas Chase
However, following a conversation with the English handicapper, Elliott is satisfied that Tiger Roll’s revised National mark, allotted before the Cheltenham festival, is fair and just and a potential history bid remains on the cards.
‘The horse has come out of the race very well, and the plan is to go for the English National,’ said Elliott.
‘Obviously I have to discuss it with Michael and Eddie (O’Leary, of Gigginstown) – but I can’t see any reason at the moment why we won’t be going there.
Tiger Roll is set to head to Aintree for the Grand National in a bid to defend the title
Gordon Elliot says he is happy with the mark having spoken to the English handicapper
‘I spoke to the English handicapper on Monday and he put him up 8lb (in the ratings) for winning the cross-country race,’ said Elliott.
‘He (the handicapper) said he might have been easy on him, giving him 8lb, because he could have given him 10lb or more very easily.
‘That only leaves him a pound wrong with last year, so it looks like he’s a better horse this year than he was last year.
‘He’s a horse of a lifetime and he’s come out of Cheltenham very well. Therefore, the plan is to go for the Aintree National.’