Tiger Roll next race: Aintree appearance confirmed after Grand National withdrawal

Tiger Roll is targeting the Aintree Bowl after his success at the Cheltenham Festival

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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Legendary back-to-back Grand National winner Tiger Roll will run in the Aintree Bowl on Thursday, instead of targeting a third consecutive victory in the iconic steeplechase at the Merseyside racecourse.

Tiger Roll originally held an entry in this year’s Grand National but was withdrawn by owners Michael and Eddie O’Leary in March due to what they saw as an ‘unfair’ weight allocation.

The 11-year-old will still travel to Aintree this week but is competing in the 3m Bowl contest at level weights, as opposed to the 4¼m handicap.

The race could be Tiger Roll’s final outing this season, having bounced back to form in impressive style at the Cheltenham Festival.

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The popular chaser was sixth of nine runners on his seasonal reappearance and had been pulled up in the Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham’s November Meeting before coming home last in his annual Boyne Hurdle outing at Navan in February, casting doubt on his readiness for the 2021 Festival.

But the Tiger put in a scintillating performance to beat old foe Easysland by 18l in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, picking up his third win in the race and his fifth Festival victory.

All eyes now turn to Aintree, although punters will understandably be disappointed to not be seeing Tiger Roll aiming to make history by completing a Grand National hat-trick.

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Tiger Roll landed the race in 2018 when carrying 10st3lbs and again in 2019 with 11st5lbs on his back, becoming the first horse since Red Rum in the 1970s to win consecutive renewals.

However, he was withdrawn at the forfeit stage for this year’s event because of an “unfair weight burden” of 11st9lbs.

Tiger Roll did hold an entry for Monday’s Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, but connections have instead aimed for Aintree – where there will be no regrets if he picks up more silverware in what is a less-prestigious contest.

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Eddie O’Leary, racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud, said: “He goes to Aintree for the Bowl. He came out of Cheltenham in great form.

“Red Rum won his third Grand National when he was 12, after he was dropped 7lbs, but I suppose Tiger will have to wait until he’s 17 to try and win his third by the way the English handicapper is carrying on.

“The handicapper is totally wrong and he has lost Tiger Roll and Easysland from the Grand National. This isn’t just about Tiger Roll anymore.”

He added: “There is no humble pie [if he wins the Bowl], he is rated completely wrong. Okay, if he wins it, we will say we are wrong but we have no regrets.”

The weights for the Grand National were announced on February 16, and Jonjo O’Neill’s Cloth Cap is now favourite for the 2021 renewal after Tiger Roll’s withdrawal.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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