Rory Delargy: Tiger Roll a hero in defeat at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival

Happy retirement, Tiger!

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Tiger Roll was denied victory on his final race before retirement by Delta Work in a thrilling Cross Country Chase at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

It looked like the dual Grand National winner was going to secure his sixth Festival success thanks to a terrific round of jumping but his stablemate proved too good up the hill to win by ¾l.

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Gordon Elliott and Michael O’Leary were criticised in some quarters for running Delta Work against Tiger Roll, probably the most popular horse in training, but our tipster Rory Delargy believes it was the right call.

Speaking on the Cheltenham Festival 2022 Review episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Rory explained why he felt it was a great way for Tiger Roll to bow out of the game. You can listen to the show in full BELOW.

Rory Delargy:

“I found it quite surprising how many people were upset that Delta Work won. No one complained much that he was entered for the race! The idea that he shouldn’t be in there to win in the first place is absolutely crazy.

“Gordon Elliott and Michael O’Leary put two horses in the race on the basis that in one set of circumstances it would be ideal for one and in a different set of circumstances it would be ideal for the other. We knew that Delta Work would handle softer ground.

“It was a great result because Tiger Roll really had to dig and threw everything into the race. He showed what a champion he is even though he was beaten.

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Delta Work Cross Country Chase (Antepost)

“If you decide to make that a walkover for him so he can stroll home by 20l what does that prove? Absolutely nothing. Tiger Roll proved himself more of a hero and more of a legend by getting beaten there and giving his all on his final start than if we’d somehow created a scenario where he had his best chance of winning the race and that has to be hugely important in racing.

“The two horses coming in together was terrific. The photo of that will be the enduring image of this Festival.”

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