Gordon Elliott sets sights on third Grand National win for Tiger Roll
Owner Michael O’Leary had intimated another crack at the National wasn’t a given if the handicapper was overly unpleasant, but Elliott has moved to quash that panic — with a mild programme before April on the cards.
Betfair and Paddy Power make him a best-priced 8-1.
Elliott said:”It is great to see him back, doing a bit of work again. He’s had a nice few months of summer vacations.
He was probably out there and had about 10 to 12 months out on grass. He hasn’t had a saddle on him since Aintree and the National, but he’s done a few parades and had a couple good days out, which is excellent.
“I’ve seen him a couple of times during the summer at Gigginstown and he was great and powerful, and I have seen him when he was here for a little while before he went to do his apartment work and he looked great.
“He will probably do three or four weeks of work until he comes back to us in the primary yard here.”
Having won both the Boyne Hurdle as well as the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival last season, Elliott is targeting the very same races .
“Obviously he will not be that busy this season. We’re definitely going to have to head him today and pick and choose where we go,” explained Elliott.
“He will probably have one run over hurdles, maybe something like the Boyne Hurdle (Navan, February) again.
“Keith (Donoghue) will ride him in Cheltenham in the Cross Country race along with the Boyne Hurdle and then Davy Russell will ride him in the National.”
Elliott also ruled out running in the Gold Cup or other similar races.
He added:”People tell me that I should be entering him Stayers’ Hurdles or Gold Cups, but I was always taught and I am a big believer in going for the race you believe that you can win in the Cheltenham Festival and the race I believe I could win at the Cheltenham Festival is the Cross Country race, so that’s where he’ll go. Grand national prize money. However, the number one goal this season is going to be the English National.”
Elliott is in no doubt that Tiger Roll is by far the hottest horse he’s had in his care.
He said:”You do not really realise just how much the horse meant to everyone. You see all of the kids and all of the various men and women that reached the yard.
“You don’t really appreciate it when you’re in the bubble yourself. You don’t realise how much of a thing there is about this horse, you understand? Grand national prize money, It’s just afterwards when you sit and you watch the videos and read all of the paper clippings, people have really got to enjoy him.
“You know, he has got a great title, Tiger Roll, and he has got a wonderful heart. He has obviously won at four Cheltenham Festivals and to acquire two Grand Nationals has been unbelievable.
Tiger Roll will have a couple of runs before going back to Aintree
“Everybody who comes into the yard, there is just one horse they want to see and that is Tiger Roll. He’s a man’s horse now and we are very blessed to have him.
“Red Rum was before my period, but you have seen the movies and heard all about him. He was an wonderful horse and to maintain precisely the same league as he’s incredible.
“I feel the build up to the English National this year is going to be unbelievable. The hype — folks are talking about him . Whether he wins, loses or draws, if he gets back there to have a go at three in a row, it is going to be great. The hype will be brilliant.
“We had been very, very satisfied with the horse (last year), he was in great shape and we got him in great order. If we can get him in half as good a form next year, then he’ll have a massive chance.
“He knows he’s good, he loves the attention. Grand national prize money. You simply watch him walking round the parade ring before and after races and he knows he is Tiger Roll.”