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Elliott hints at disappointment with Tiger Roll given top weight for Grand National

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16:36 11 Feb 2020

Tiger Roll has, as expected, been given top weight should he go for an unprecedented third consecutive Aintree Grand National win. 

The Gordon Elliott-trained 10-year old has been saddled with 11st 10lb for the April showpiece on Merseyside.

No horse has ever won three consecutive Grand Nationals, and Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O'Leary is still casting doubt on whether or not Tiger Roll will race at Aintree.

He hasn't seen action since last year's National success but is entered for the Boyne Hurdle at Navan this weekend.

O'Leary told the Racing Post, "I'm obviously very disappointed that they have only compressed him by a single pound. We're not going to jump up and down about it as we have said all we wanted to say already, but we will have to have a serious think about whether he will run or not.

"I mean that. He really is not certain to line up. 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."

Speaking at the weights lunch, Elliott echoed that disappointment, "I was hoping he'd have a few pound less but the handicapper's got his job to do so there's not much more to say about it.

"We have what we have, we're 4lb worse-off with Magical Light who was second in the race last year so it's probably fair enough."

Sunday's outing will be a first look at Tiger Roll since having a chip removed from a joint in November, but Elliott has no qualms about him running, "Yeah he's in good form, he's back cantering since the 1st of January.

"He runs on Sunday. He will need the run on Sunday - it's a stepping stone to the Cross Country race at Cheltenham and obviously back for the Randox Aintree Grand National."

Tiger Roll shares top weight with stablemate Delta Work and they're among 18 entries from Elliott's yard.

Only 40 of the 105 entries will run at Aintree on April 4, and Elliott's been asked who among his contenders has been weighted pleasingly, "The Storyteller, Alpha des Obeaux both have nice weights, but each has got 10-stone. If he got luck in running off of 10-stone he'd run well - he's won a Galway Plate.

"It's lucky we've probably got 10 or 11 in the handicap proper, so we'd probably end up with half a dozen runners all being well."

British Horseracing Authority chase handicapper Martin Greenwood has been speaking about the potential field in glowing terms, "The race is full of top-class individuals and boasts the winners of races such as the Grand National, Irish National, Welsh National, Rowland Meyrick Chase, Cheltenham Gold Cup and much more. It is as good a staying handicap as would be run anywhere.

"You could argue that it is the highest quality Grand National in modern history."

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Aintree Eddie O'Leary Gordon Elliott Grand National Tiger Roll

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