Tiger Roll doing well despite setback
Tiger Roll remains to bid for a third consecutive win at the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree despite a recent setback.
Trainer Gordon Elliott is convinced his celebrity will attempt to join Red Rum as a winner of this elongated event, although the nine-year-old failed a procedure to eliminate a chip in a joint and is now on box break.
If his comeback goes to plan, Tiger Roll will return to action from the Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February – a race that he won last season – .
“The process he had travelled well. He is on box rest until Thursday week, when the bandage will probably emerge and he’ll begin back walking,” said Elliott.
“He will be walking for 3 weeks then, all being well, he’ll return cantering then. He was in nearly ready and full fitness to run when it occurred. It is not perfect, but it’d have been a good deal worse, if it’d occurred in January or February.
“The Boyne Hurdle is really where we would love to go, but if he does not get there then he may just go straight to Cheltenham to the Cross Country”
Elliott isn’t carrying the threat too seriously, although owner Michael suggested that when the handicapper was harsh on Tiger Roll, his pride and pleasure may not run in Aintree.
“The Randox Grand National is the plan. Obviously Michael O’Leary possesses him will make the final choice, but in my head this is the race I’ve been training him for since last year,” explained Elliott.
“To be truthful, he completed 11st 5lb last year, we know he’s going to have top weight, we are not stupid. It is how far the weights are compressed. The handicapper has got a project to do, but I am convinced he’s going to be fair with everyone.
“We’re almost certain he’s going to get to carry 11st 10lb, but would he have won another 5lb year? I believe he could.
“It is the Grand National, I know what can occur in a Grand National. It’s just great to be there, although there is a lot of stress when you visit Cheltenham. There’s pressure but of a kind that is different.
“Anything can happen in the National, that’s what makes it that the most race it is, but also the build up to the race will probably be next to none”
Elliott hopes to be represented April come, together with 15 names in the mix.
“When we needed to create the entrances now, I would create about 15. They’re all in the handicap and entitled to run from the race,” he said.
“Borice could go – that he runs at the Ladbroke at the weekend – we’ve got Dounikos who’s a fantastic horse when things go right, we’ve Jury Duty who won an American National, Alpha Des Obeaux is an graded winner, The Storyteller is a Cheltenham Festival winner, so is Shattered Love.
“Then we have Ravenhill, that was only beaten at a Kerry National and Noble Endeavor, who’d dropped his form a little but ran OK from the National last year once the floor was too quick. Roaring Bull will get an entry but may not have in, however Champagne Classic is a horse that is very good.
“Ucello Conti has run well in the race before, Monbeg Notorious is a great horse, General Principle is an Irish National winner along with Prince Of Scars is a Grade One winner, and that means you can’t say any one of these horses do not deserve to run.”