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Tiger Roll remains on course f...
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Tiger Roll remains on course for Aintree despite Cheltenham defeat

Gordon Elliott says Tiger Roll remains on course to defend his Aintree Grand National title - despite being beaten at Cheltenham this afternoon.

The back-to-back Grand National champion was second to Easysland in the Cross Country Chase.

But Elliott feels a win was always unlikely for his charge on soft ground:

We are happy, but once he is OK in the morning that is the most important thing. You're always disappointed when you don't win, but I said before the race the ground was a big worry. Keith said on that tacky ground he was never happy on him. On the better ground he was good.

"In fairness to the winning jockey he gave his horse a very good ride and took the sting out of us, we went a good gallop the whole way. Just the ground killed us, no excuse.

"If you go through his whole career he is a horse that needs good ground.

"When you're watching a race you're always hoping, but you could see going out on the last circuit across the heavy ground normally he'd be running way at that stage.

"But he's come a long way - in January we were only back cantering, so we're happy.

The Meath handler says the O'Learys will make a final decision on Tiger Roll's participation at Aintree, depending on the ground.

"Yes. if it is good ground. If it is soft or heavy he won't be running and if it is good ground he will run."

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