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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Grand National hero Tiger Roll to take similar route back to Aintree

Tiger Roll pips Pleasant Company to win this year's Grand National
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Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll looks poised to bid for the same spring double as last season after Gordon Elliott confirmed his latest chasing star is back in training. 

Elliott's diminutive hero completed an unlikely hat-trick of Cheltenham Festival successes last March when adding the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase to his previous wins in the Triumph Hurdle (2014) and the four-mile National Hunt Chase (2017).

The trainer said the versatile Tiger Roll, who also landed a Munster National at Limerick in 2016, would most likely take a path similar to that which ended in glory in chasing’s £1 million highlight last April. 

“Tiger Roll is back in training and, while there are no definite plans yet, we’ll probably run him in some cross-country races, like we did last season, before heading back to Aintree,” Elliott said of the Gigginstown House Stud-owned eight-year-old.

Tiger Roll, who famously held off the challenge of the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company by a head in a thrilling finish to the National under Davy Russell, started last season in a Listed chase at Wexford in October before finishing fifth in the cross-country race at Cheltenham in December.

Elliott, who first won the Aintree showpiece with Silver Birch in 2007, has proved himself a master of the National realm. 

He has plundered the two most recent runnings of the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel with Wrath Of Titans (2016) and Potters Point (2017) and also claimed a thrilling breakthrough success in the Boylesports Irish Grand National less than two weeks before Tiger Roll's finest hour. 

At Fairyhouse, it was Gigginstown's General Principle who just got up to thwart Isleofhopendreams, again denying Mullins victory by a head in that €500,000 contest. 

Elliott could not confirm plans for General Principle but indicated he could also be aimed at the glittering Aintree prize. 

“We haven’t made a plan for General Principle but I’d say there's a good chance Aintree might be on the agenda for him this season,“ he said. 

General Principle trades at between 25-1 and 33s for success in the world's richest chase, with Tiger Roll the clear ante-post market leader at between 16-1 and 20s to become the first back-to-back National winner since Red Rum in 1974. 

Pleasant Company and the Lucinda Russell-trained 2017 winner One For Arthur are next on the list as general 25-1 shots.

Should One For Arthur, who has not run since his Aintree triumph under Derek Fox, make it back to the race, he would also be vying to emulate Red Rum's 1977 success in a fashion, as Ginger McCain's legendary chaser regained the crown that year having forfeited it to L'Escargot in 1975 and Rag Trade in 1976.

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We’ll probably run him in some cross-country races, like we did last season, before heading back to Aintree
E.W. Terms
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