Hands up, it’s a fair cop. I thought Tiger Roll was finished, but I'm guessing many of you did, too.
However, there is nothing bitter about this particular flavour of humble pie because the Tiger’s cross country demolition job was a joy to behold.
Tiger Roll on his a-game is one of the finest sights in the sport. He travels and jumps with such enthusiasm that it is patently obvious that he absolutely loves what he is doing.
Drying ground was always going to be in his favour, unlike short-priced favourite Easysland who just didn’t look the same horse as he did 12 months ago, but Tiger Roll still needed to go and show the world that he still had the appetite for the job and boy did he do that.
People won’t be queueing up to give Gordon Elliott credit but surely he deserves some for rejuvenating a horse that had looked well and truly on the decline.
So, too, does Tiger Roll’s jockey Keith Donoghue who has been on board for all three of the horse’s Cross Country Chase wins. Keith has been a huge part of the Tiger Roll story and his faith in the horse has remained undiminished throughout the last year.
Winning one Cheltenham Festival race takes some doing but to win five, along with two Grand Nationals, takes something very special and Tiger Roll is just that. His performance was a standout moment of the week.
Kettle Too Hot For Chacun In Queen Mother
From one special horse to another. Put The Kettle On wrote her name into the history books by becoming the first mare to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
A quite enthralling feature event on day two served up a timely reminder to us all of just how valuable course form is at the Cheltenham Festival.
Chacun Pour Soi only needing pointing in the right direction according to the market but those that had readily assumed he would just come up the hill in the same way that he did at Leopardstown can only have been bitterly disappointed by his finishing effort given how smooth a trip he had up to that point.
There were no obvious excuses for the vanquished favourite who left Willie Mullins still searching for his first Champion Chase winner. He was outgunned by a mare that extended her flawless record at Prestbury Park to four wins from four starts.
Throw into the mix her unbelievable will to win then connections have the perfect Cheltenham Festival animal and connections deserve all the credit in the world for taking the tougher option because she would have been a much shorter price in the Mares’ Chase.
With just under four lengths covering the first five home and one or two hard luck stories in behind her, it is likely that Put The Kettle On will get the credit she deserves but her love for Cheltenham could make life tough for even the mighty Shishkin in 2022.