Tiger Roll Will Aim For Grand National Hat-Trick In 2020

Trainer Gordon Elliott has finally confirmed that Tiger Roll will bid for an unprecedented third successive Grand National victory at Aintree in 2020.

Tiger Roll Will Aim For Grand National Hat-Trick In 2020

The diminuitive nine-year-old entered Grand National folkore last April when becoming the first horse to win the race for a second time since the mighty Red Rum landed three victories in the 1970s.

After the race, connections suggested it was doubtful he would bid to become just the second horse in history to win the £1million event for a third time, due to the high weight he would be burdened by in the handicap chase.

However, on Friday, when talking to The Jockey Club about his string's plans for this season, he announced that Tiger Roll will indeed do what we all dreamed, and aim for Aintree once more.

Bid For Fifth Cheltenham Festival Win Also On

As well as outlining seasonal goals, Elliott also gave an update on Tiger Roll's progress in pre-season training, and confirmed that once again the Cheltenham Festival is on the agenda.

Last year he won his fourth Cheltenham Festival race when landing a second Cross Country Chase. A third successive win there would earn him his fifth Cheltenham Festival win, putting him up there with the likes of five-time Gold Cup winner Golden Miller, and six-time Festival scorer Quevega.

“It is great to see him back, doing a bit of work again. He has had a nice couple of months of summer holidays," he said. "He hasn’t had a saddle on him since Aintree and the National, but he has done a few parades and had a few good days out, which is great.

"Obviously he won’t be that busy this year. We are going to have to mind him now and pick and choose where we go. He will probably have one run over hurdles, maybe something like the Boyne Hurdle (Navan, February) again. He will go back to Cheltenham for the Cross Country race, and then we’ll go for the Grand National."

But It's Cross Country All The Way

Though featuring in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting at 18/1, and in the Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle market at 50/1, Elliott is not tempted to switch Tiger Roll from the Cross Country Chase to a more lucrative pot.

"People tell me I should be entering him in Stayers’ Hurdles or Gold Cups," he explained, "but I was always taught, and I am a big believer in, going for the race you think you can win at the Cheltenham Festival, and the race I think I can win at the Cheltenham Festival is the Cross Country race, so that’s where he will go. But the number one target this year will be the Grand National."

Odds are already short on Tiger Roll beating Red Rum's legendary record next April. If he were to win, he would better Red Rum's three wins, as his trio of victories would come in successive years.

The odds on that happening for Gigginstown House Stud's star are no bigger than 8/1, his closest rival in the betting, the Willie Mullins-trained Burrows Saint, offered at 20/1.

National Build-Up Will Be 'Unbelievable'

Tiger Roll was also short in the odds to win last year in the antepost betting markets, and was sent off the 4/1 favourite, so Elliott is used to being responsible for the hottest horse in the Grand National's 40-runner field.

Next year he will be subject to a new level of interest as he attempts to break new ground in the Liverpool spectacle, but rather than be fazed by the prospect, Elliott is looking forward to it.

“I think the build up to the English National this season is going to be unbelievable," he said. "The hype – people are talking about him already. Whether he wins, loses or draws, if he gets back there to have a go at three in a row, it’s going to be great. The hype is going to be brilliant.

“He knows he’s good, he loves the attention. You just watch him walking round the parade ring before and after races and he knows he is Tiger Roll.”