The darkest day in my time in the trading room came on the 14th April in 2018. Although Tiger Roll was one we were very much keeping onside in the Cross Country Chase at that year’s Cheltenham Festival, we were against him in the Grand National.
Our thinking was that he was a small horse that would probably find the large Aintree fences to be too much for him and that he would struggle to get into a rhythm.
In the couple of days leading up to the National, he was the one the punters wanted and we were happy to lay him. We were very much against him on the day and as the bets came in, the liability grew. Watching the race, it quickly became clear that he had taken to the fences like a duck to water and from about four out, we were getting very nervous.
Coming to the last we knew we were in big trouble and as Tiger Roll stretched five lengths clear with a furlong to run, the race room went very quiet.
A late rally from Present Company brought about a bit of roaring and cheering in the hope of getting him up but unfortunately, he just failed.
That atmosphere is something I will never forget, all you could hear was disappointment and regret. We learnt our lesson the hard way that day and didn’t take him on when he followed up in 2019.
I have still haven’t forgotten that day and will be sure that we won’t take him on as he goes in search of a famous hat trick in the world’s most famous steeplechase.