Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll will potentially head to Aintree in April, seeking a third Grand National win in as many years.
It’s hard to argue against the ten-year-old coming out on top, after blitzing the field with relative ease last year.
There was little surprise to see Tiger Roll crowned Horse of the Year at the Horse Racing Awards in Dublin in December 2019.
Tiger Roll was the first horse since Red Rum to secure back-to-back Grand Nationals, as well as romping home in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the previous month.
His trainer, Gordon Elliott, has yet to confirm 100% that Tiger Roll will be up for the renewal, which is why odds of 7/1 are available but expect these odds to be slashed if anything is said by Elliott in the coming month, or if the horses preparation is similar to the last couple of years, which will more than likely indicate the yard’s plans.
Tiger Roll’s closest competitor according to the current market is Burrows Saint, who won the Irish Grand National under Ruby Walsh back in April 2019. The seven-year-old recently won the Punchestown Hurdle on New Years’ Eve under Rachel Blackmore and Willie Mullins has heavily suggested Burrows Saint may well head to Aintree this year to challenge Tiger Roll.
Other Grand National tips include the likes of former Gold Cup winner Native River, who may well tackle the longer trip and sidestep the Cheltenham Festival altogether. The ten-year-old maintained his 100% record at Aintree after 267 days off the track, beating three strong rivals, including Black Corton, by more than 30 lengths.
This impressive performance has seen Native River amongst the front runners to challenge Tiger Roll at 20/1. If Tiger Roll is to sidestep the race entirely, it would be no surprise to see Native River as an alternative favourite to land the spoils.
Having been unable to win back-to-back Gold Cup’s at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing fourth and almost ten lengths behind surprise winner Al Boum Photo, Colin Tizzard has a tough decision to make. But one thing is for sure, if Native River is confirmed for the National, 20/1 will look a cracking price.
Both Burrows Saint and Native River will prove popular if declared, especially for punters who might believe Tiger Roll has had his day in the sun. But let’s not forget, Tiger Roll has been there and done it, twice, when it comes to the Grand National.
If Tiger Roll is to make history and win a third straight Grand National, it will surely take a pretty impressive campaign from another horse to take his Horse of the Year title. Even if the ten-year-old doesn’t head to Aintree in 2020, we have had the pleasure to witness one of the best jump horses of all time. Let the debate continue…