According to manager Gordon Elliott, the Tiger Roll, the most popular jumping horse during training, could return to play unexpectedly on Flat at Navan next week.
1st place Ladbrokes champion Chase was mentioned as a possible destination for the Tiger Roll’s seasonal comeback but Elliott revealed that, if the Grand National double winner runs at Navan, he won’t come Down Royal at the end of the month.
Should the Tiger Roll return to the Navan level, Elliott will likely look for a hurdle race instead of a fence jockeying with the ten-year-old boy who has a chance of winning the Grand National Championship for the third time in next spring, a feat that no horse can do yet.
The Tiger Roll failed to secure success at its fifth Cheltenham festival – and for the third time in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Race – back in March when it finished second behind Easysland on soft ground.
The gigantic Gigginstown House Stud-owned man made the festival by his leather after experiencing a defeat in November that left him on vacation until February.
Denied the chance to defend his Grand National crowd and compete against Red Rum by winning the race for the third time when the Aintree meeting was canceled due to Covid-19, Elliott argued that the season ended early as a blessing to disguise Tiger Roll, who was reported to return to his best form at home during the gallop at Cullentra House.
Speaking of the spring goal, Elliott added: “The plan is to return to the country in Cheltenham and then obviously all the discussion will be about Aintree but we will train him for Cheltenham first. He’s in a serious form at home and I couldn’t be happier with him.
Tiger Roll’s career went in a unique path, with Authorized’s half-bred son winning at ranges from 2m½f to two over 4m2½f at Grand National at Aintree.
From humble beginnings in the juvenile hurdle at Market Rasen to coach Nigel Hawke, Tiger Roll has grown into a household name, not only for the National brace but also the trophy of he’s at the Cheltenham Festival, where he has won four championships.
However, it was his switch to fence in the following seasons that allowed his reputation to soar, with a season stretching as a beginner leading to a dizzying victory in National chase race 4m long at the festival.
And then there was his cross country run, with both of his victories in the Glenfarclas Race at the Cheltenham Festival – second at an easy 22 – followed by a National win at Aintree.
He was last seen in the cross-country race he did himself at the festival when he was 17 races beaten by Easysland, but is likely to return to the Apartment next week – this will be the start His second on the Apartment after spinning around Dundalk in 2016 – it should come as no surprise to those following a national hero, whose career could be marked with versatility as well as his ability to perform during the big days.