Friday, 21 February, 2020


Tiger Roll ranked 170 in Grand National

Grand National 2020: Tiger Roll given top weight for Aintree race in April Grand National: Handicapper has his say on weights
Noah Ferguson | 14 February, 2020, 10:39

Elliott also indicated that despite having won the race twice, Tiger Roll is not at present qualified under National rules, whereby a horse must run in a steeplechase during the season before March 16.

Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, aims to emulate the legendary Red Rum as a three-time victor of the Randox Health Grand National and, if victorious, would become the first horse to do so. consecutive years.

Elliott also counts Apple's Jade, Cracking Smart, and Mengli Khan among his entry as he bids to win the race for the fourth successive year. "Delta Work is our Gold Cup horse and the handicapper thinks Tiger Roll is as good as him, that makes no sense to me at all". Champion trainer Willie Mullins has entered Penhill, Killultagh Vic and Bachasson while Joseph O'Brien will saddle Gardens Of Babylon and Darasso.

Last year's runner-up Magic Of Light (Jessica Harrington IRE) has been handed 10st 12lb.

With a total prize fund of £1m, the Grand National is the world's richest jumps race and will take place for the 173rd time this year, at 5.15pm on the first Saturday of April.

"We obviously would love to see Tiger Roll to go for three in a row, but we're very vocal about the fact that it (handicap) has to be compressed".

Elliott was more accepting of Tiger Roll's rating.

The 10-year-old had an official score of 150 in the 2018 Randox Health Grand National and defied a score of 159 in final 12 months's version. Whether he shows up at Aintree for the Grand National is another story altogether, however.

Tiger Roll is the joint-top weight with Delta Force, also trained by Irishman Gordon Elliott, for the race on April 4 at Aintree Racecourse.

However, the focus last night was on Tiger Roll.

Other names to highlight are Kimberlite Candy (Tom Lacey, 10st 4lb), victor of the G3 Classic Handicap Chase in Warwick, and the victor of Listed Sky Bet Chase Ok Corral (Nicky Henderson, 10st 9lb).

"It have to be remembered that Tiger Roll ran in the race off a score of 159 however was really rated 167 on the time on account of his win in the Cross Country at Cheltenham".

Ten horses have received 11 or more.

The O'Learys have suggested he might not run at Aintree if the handicapper is considered to have treated their horse unfairly, although many believe they will not easily turn down a chance at making racing history.

"Delta Work is a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup contender and, in order to keep as numerous horses in the handicap, he is also off 170".

Greenwood applied compression but only by 1lb or 2lb to the top four horses - the other two are Bristol De Mai and Native River. Bristol de Mai was rated 173 when entered previous year and that figure has been downgraded since to 168. I have dropped Native River 2lb to 166 since Bristol De Mai has finished in front of him the last two times they have met, and I thought he was professional when he was winning at Newbury Saturday. Similarly, from a beginning score of 140, there are extra horses than ever in the trendy period entered for the race - 92 in complete.

The race includes the winners of numerous "nationals", including the most recent Irish (Burrows Saint), Scottish (Takingrisks) and Welsh (Potters Corner).

Greenwood described the 105 possibles as "the highest quality entry of the modern era" and said his task was "relatively straight- forward".

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