The news that horse racing fans in the UK have been waiting for has finally been confirmed. Tiger Roll will remain in training for the 2019/20 season and most importantly of all, his main aim of the season will be the Aintree Grand National once again.
The horse has won back to back races, with his most recent success coming in April 2019, a win that was visually more impressive than his win the previous year, despite more weight on his back. Straight after the race in April, owner Michael O’Leary was a little hesitant and stated that it was unlikely that the horse would be heading back to Aintree next year to try and win a third National.
At the time he said he would much prefer everything to be centered around the horse running and hopefully winning at the Cheltenham Festival a month earlier, and then retiring there in the winners’ enclosure. However, he and trainer Gordon Elliott have clearly had a change of heart and now it is all systems go for the nine-year-old, who will turn 10 before the showpiece event in April 2020.
There is little doubt that Tiger Roll has turned into ‘the people’s horse’ after winning back-to-back Gran Nationals on what is without a doubt the biggest horse racing stage in the UK. On both occasions, he has been very well backed, with the public latching onto him and that is sure to be the same case in April when he goes for number three. He will also no doubt be popular with tipsters, with many horse racing predictions being on him to win Grand National number three.
As far as a plan for the season goes, it appears as though Tiger Roll will have three runs this coming season. He will begin at Navan in the Boyne Hurdle, a race he won with great ease last season. Then he will head to Cheltenham where he will look to make it three in a row in the Cross Country Chase. A win there would be his fifth festival win, something that would certainly put him in the record books for the festival.
After that, it will be on to the big one and a trip to Aintree. He has already put himself in the Aintree history books by defending his crown and winning back to back Grand Nationals, but a third would not only be unprecedented: he could well be the only one to ever do it.
To a certain extent, this horse has simply nothing to lose. He has already shown us what a wonderful animal he is, and anything he does this season is merely a bonus. However, chances to win three Grand National races in a row do not come along very often, and win, lose or draw, it is no surprise to see this horse being laid out to try and make history next April.