Tiger Roll has officially been ruled out of the Grand National as the dual winner was among 14 entrants to be scratched from the Aintree extravaganza on Tuesday.
Owner Michael O’Leary is denying the 12-year-old a shot at equalling Red Rum’s record of three victories in the world’s greatest steeplechase after a row with the British handicapper over the horse’s rating of 161.
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The Tiger roared to Grand National successes in 2018 and 2019 but the hat-trick attempt was scuppered in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and he did not line up in last year’s renewal due to a similar row over his handicap rating.
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Tiger Roll was the highest-rated horse to be scratched and was joined in withdrawing by fellow Irish-trained entrants Assemble, Eklat de Rire, Off You Go, The Big Dog, Mister Fogpatches, Brace Yourself and Eurobot.
Sam Brown, El Presente, Kalooki, Uisce Beatha, Elegant Escape and Double Shuffle were the British-trained horses to be withdrawn at the latest forfeit stage.
Tiger Roll’s withdrawal is likely to disappoint horse racing fans on either side of the Irish Sea as an exclusive Paddy Power poll revealed the majority were eager to see the popular little horse go for the hat-trick.
*Odds quoted on the widget are Non Runner Money Back prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you’ll get your stake back
Trainer Gordon Elliott said: “We had him at Cheltenham last week schooling over banks and he was very good. I suppose the one negative I’d have would be if the ground turned up soft. Tiger Roll isn’t the same horse on soft ground. The better the ground, the better his chance. I don’t think there’s a lot of rain expected there over the next few weeks. If the ground dries out, we’re very happy with him.
“He’s only missed the Cheltenham Festival once [in 2016] since his first win there in the 2014 Triumph Hurdle. He’s a great horse and part of the team here – the horse of a lifetime.
“Anyone who comes into this yard – we have kids coming in here from all over the world with Irish parents – and the first horse they want to see is him. The kids want a picture with him, to sit up on him if they can. We probably don’t realise how lucky we are to have a horse like him.”
The final field of 40 runners and riders will be revealed after final declarations on Thursday, April 7.
Ted Walsh’s Any Second Now, third in last year’s renewal, has climbed to the top of Paddy Power’s antepost betting for the Grand National after scoring in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last Saturday.
*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules
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