Hopes are high that two-time Aintree winner Tiger Roll can collect his third straight win at the Grand National. However, expectations that Tiger Roll could win a third consecutive Grand National took a hit at the Cheltenham Festival. Tiger Roll went into the Cross Country Chase as the race favorites only to fall to French high-flyer Easysland. Trainer Gordon Elliott expects to have his horse ready to run at the Grand National to win a third time in as many tries. Horse racing fans can use the best horse racing betting sites to get a bet bonus before wagering on the horse they believe will win the Grand National.
Tiger Roll’s loss to Easysland in the Cross Country Chase ended his winning run in the Cheltenham Festival race. Elliott’s charge had won the last three Cross Country Chases and some punters could see Tiger Roll’s loss as a sign for the future at the Grand National.
Cheltenham’s soft ground did not play to Tiger Roll’s strength and Elliott will hope for firmer ground at Aintree in April. According to Elliott, Tiger Roll was tired after the Cross Country Chase and taken back to the stable almost immediately after crossing the finish line.
There are claims that Tiger Roll has lost the desire to compete following his Cheltenham loss. One major British newspaper called the horse’s performance “tame”. There is no doubt Tiger Roll was exhausted after the Cross Country Chase. There are only three weeks between the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National giving Elliott a short time period to get the horse ready to run. If Elliott wants his horse to make history as the first-ever winner of three straight Grand Nationals, then he must work some magic.
While some onlookers simply saw Tiger Roll as tired after the race, jockey Keith Donoghue claimed the horse had left it all on the racetrack. It was a brave claim and won that could distract racing fans from the more obvious fact that Tiger Roll may not have anything left in the tank.
Now 10-years-old, Tiger Roll returned to training at a late stage, which Elliott was quick to blame – along with the going – for the result in the Cross Country Chase. It was expected heading into the Cross Country Chase that Tiger Roll would win and push on for a third Grand National win. Now, expectations of an Aintree win have been tempered.
Easyslands’ win over Tiger Roll was, well, easy. The French horse won by 17 lengths. Tiger Roll may have finished second but it was a distant position with mud and turf flying through the air to separate the two horses. Easyslands is a mere six-years-old and could return to the Cheltenham Festival to retain his title next season.
So, can Tiger Roll win a third straight Grand National? The simple question is ‘yes’, but Elliott has a lot of work to do to get the horse back to his best. All eyes in the horse racing world will be on Aintree in April and Tiger Roll has the chance to make history.