He's back! Tiger Roll to take on Magic Of Light and Penhill in Boyne Hurdle
Grand National hero Tiger Roll and last year's Aintree second Magic Of Light are among a blockbuster field of ten Sunday's Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle at Navan.
The Grade 2 contest was captured by Tiger Roll on his way to a memorable second Grand National victory last year, but he has been off the course since that Aintree success after having surgery to remove a bone chip in November.
On Tuesday, the weights for this year's Randox Health Grand National were unveiled with Tiger Roll set to carry top weight and run off a rating of 170 in his bid to emulate Red Rum with three wins in the iconic chase.
Magic Of Light, who will carry 12lb less that Tiger Roll in the Grand National, has won two of her three starts this season, the most recent of which was a Grade 2 event for mares' at Ascot in December.
The duo will be joined at Navan by former Stayers' Hurdle winner Penhill, Killultagh Vic and Darasso among others, with a substantial crowd predicted to head to the course to see the action on Sunday.
Navan manager Peter Killeen is full of confidence that Storm Dennis will not claim Sunday's anticipated card, and explained the lengths the course was going to in order to promote the local legend.
He said: "We are all bubbling with excitement here in Navan and I have no doubt Tiger Roll will get the turnstiles clicking. He's the most popular horse in training right now and we are privileged to have him running at Navan. It should be a magic day.
"We have a Tiger package for racegoers. It is €35 and you get admission, a racecard, a €5 Tote bet, a tiger beef roll and a bottle of Tiger beer. We will have the Tiger Roll book on sale as well and there is sure to be a terrific atmosphere around the place."
The going at Navan was described as soft to heavy on Friday, but Killeen believes the course can cope with the amount of rainfall forecast by Met Eireann over the next 48 hours.
He added: "I wouldn't be concerned at all about the amount of rainfall we are predicted to get, once that is what we actually get."
Killeen expects the locals to come out in their droves to support the most famous horse in racing. There is even a discount package in honour of the occasion.
"You couldn't write the script any better," he said. "To have the Tiger Roll and Magic Of Light, the first two home in the Grand National, running in the Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle is just fantastic. It is going to be a very special day."
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