ELLIOTT HOPES O'LEARY WILL LET TIGER ROLL RUN IN THIS YEARS RANDOX GRAND NATIONAL FOR THE PUBLIC AND RATES EACH OF HIS 16 ENTRIES Tuesday 16th February By Graham Clark
Racing fans hope the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding take his place alongside 39 other runners at Aintree on April 10th in a bid to write his name into the history books and become just the second horse to win the worlds greatest steeplechase on three occasions.
Only Red Rum (1973, 1974, 1977) has won three Grand Nationals and if Tiger Roll is to emulate him he will do so carrying a weight of 11st 9lbs.
Although that is seven pounds higher than his second victory in the extended four and a quarter mile prize in 2019, Elliott reports his stable star to be in good order.
Tiger Roll pulled up on his last start over the cross country fences at Cheltenham in November but Elliott is looking forward, not back.
The trainer, who has a total of 16 entries for this years Randox Grand National, said: "He has got 166 (rating) and he won off 159 two years ago when the race was last run. He seems in good form at home and we are looking forward to the race.
"You are always hoping you are going to be a couple of pounds less than what you have been given, but to be honest we will just smile and take it.
"He made a mistake the last day at Cheltenham and he was lame after the race but thankfully he is okay now. We will just keep our heads up and hopefully he will be okay for the rest of the season.
Elliott said that ground conditions will determine if Tiger Roll, who has won more than £1.3 million in prize money, will take in the Grade Two Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle, which he won in 2019 on route to Aintree, at Navan this Sunday.
He added: "He is in the Boyne Hurdle at the weekend but the ground is very soft so we might not run him. But if it is not too bad he will run as he has run in it the last two years.
"He is in good form and if the ground is right for him we would like to run him as it is a race he has won before. The decision as to whether Tiger Roll bids for a record equalling third Grand National ultimately rests with his owner Michael O'Leary, but Elliott hopes the hugely popular gelding is allowed to take his chance in an attempt to make history.
He said: "I have to concentrate on training the horse and I just hope his owner lets the horse run in the race for the public. Everyone will be looking forward to seeing the horse run again in the Grand National but Michael will make that decision. If you look at him he is not the biggest horse in the world but he really seems to enjoy those fences. It is the race that everyone looks at when you are young and we have been lucky enough to win it three times. When I won it with Silver Birch you get a taste of winning it and I think there are only one or two years since where we have not had a runner in it.
"I suppose winning the Gold Cup with Don Cossack was very special. We have won three Grand Nationals but to come back and win four would be something special.
Elliott assessed the chances of his 15 other entries:
Alpha Des Obeaux - He finished third at Aintree before (Becher Chase in 2019) and at this stage of his career I would say better ground would suit him better. He might run in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham before he goes to Aintree. Age might just be catching up with him but the ground has been very soft on his last couple of runs which he would not have much liked.
Battleoverdoyen - It might be a year too early for Battleoverdoyen and I would say he probably will not go for it this year. He started the season off well but he has been great since. He has had a problem with his wind and he has had that done now. Hopefully that should help him and I would say a bit better ground would suit him as well.â€
Champagne Classic - He is an over-achiever but he has not run in more than a year so he will struggle to qualify for the race. He got a leg injury that has just kept him out. There are no firm plans for him.
Death Duty - He has not been the easiest to train this year but we need to get a clean run. He has not come back to the form he showed as a novice over fences but these things happen.
Delta Work - He is out for the season unfortunately but he has not got many miles on the clock so hopefully we can go for it again.
Dounikos - He finished fifth in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown which was a better run but he is a bit of a monkey and he does have his own mind. If he gets in I would imagine he would run as he has been over the fences before.
Farclas- He will probably go for the 2m 5f handicap at Cheltenham but the one thing we have to worry about him is the trip. We will go to Cheltenham first then see what happens.
Milan Native - He won the Kim Muir last season and I think the race could really suit him and I see him running well off a low weight. He has had a wind operation since his last start. We are looking forward to Aintree and the plan is to go straight there.
Presenting Percy - He got a little infection in his front leg and he missed a couple of weeks so the Gold Cup was coming a bit tight for him so we are hoping to get him to the Grand National. When I first got this horse I thought this was a race made for him. We just need everything to go right with him over the next couple of weeks.
Run Wild Fred - I might keep him for the Irish Grand National this year. He is a consistent sort. He ran well in the Thyestes the last day. He is a good horse. I am thinking the Grand National will be for him next year.
Shattered Love - She will go to the new Grade Two mares chase at Cheltenham next and we will see about the National after that. I thought she ran very well over two miles at Naas on Saturday as that trip would have been way too short for her.
The Storyteller - He is a class horse in his own right and he ran a great race in the Irish Gold Cup the other weekend. With a mark of 165 he is high enough but he is a class horse and we are looking forward to running him in the race. I am not sure where we will go before the National.
Aforementioned, Monbeg Notorious and Roaring Bull, Aforementioned, Monbeg Notorious and Roaring Bull will not get in the race as they are too far down the weights.