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Tiger Roll could feature at the Punchestown Festival after connections decided against a shock appearance in the Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park.
The dual Grand National winner was one of seven entries for the 2m 6½f Grade 2 contest on the final day of the jump racing season in Great Britain but is staying at home as just four horses stood their ground at final declarations.
King George VI Chase winner Frodon and Peterborough Chase champ Mister Fisher will be joined by Born Survivor and Militarian in the 2.30pm on Saturday.
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Tiger Roll still holds an entry for the Punchestown Gold Cup despite finding Grade 1 pace too hot to handle when finishing fourth in the Betway Bowl at Aintree on his last start.
The Tiger’s withdrawal from the Oaksey Chase is somewhat surprising after Gigginstown House Stud racing manager Eddie O’Leary appeared to favour crossing the Irish Sea.
“Tiger Roll will run at either Sandown or Punchestown. Sandown would look the likelier of the two because he proved he is not a Grade 1 horse at Aintree so hopefully dropping in grade at Sandown will be a help,” O’Leary said.
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“Punchestown looks like it will be a very hot race. He needs to run for the handicapper to reassess him so that’s why we’re running. We’ll make a definite decision nearer to declaration time.”
Tiger Roll was denied the chance to make it a hat-trick of Grand National wins due to a squabble over his handicap.
The Aintree icon began the season with three disappointing spins before the handicapper controversially issued a rating of 166 for the world’s greatest steeplechase.
Tiger Roll was cut from the big race at the first stage of scratchings but the little horse trounced Cross Country Chase rival Easysland at the Cheltenham Festival weeks later.
A total of 11 horses have been entered for the Punchestown Gold Cup while Clan Des Obeaux – the convincing winner of the Betway Bowl – is set to be supplemented.
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