Tiger Roll wins: Five of the best
Few horses permeate into the wider sporting world, let alone mainstream news. But dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll achieved that kind of recognition with his Aintree heroics.
Given we waited 45 years from Red Rum’s National double until Tiger Roll came along, it seems unlikely we will see another of his ilk for a good while yet.
The fairytale ending was not to be. The Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll could not sign off his fabulous career with victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham in 2022.
Yet he went out on his shield in typically, utterly valiant fashion, with a gallant second-place finish behind stablemate Delta Work.
We look back on five of the best Tiger Roll wins from the pony-sized chaser with the massive heart.
Grand National (Aintree, 2019)
Without a doubt Tiger Roll’s biggest accomplishment was becoming the first horse since Red Rum to win the Grand National in successive years.
Running off a handicap mark 9lb higher than 12 months previous, he never looked like being beaten, with Davy Russell able to take a pull while still on the bridle approaching the elbow, and a place in Grand National history was confirmed.
Cross Country Chase (Cheltenham, 2019)
While the unique Cheltenham event does not take as much winning as the National, we perhaps should have envisaged what was to come at Aintree a month later when he obliterated the Festival field by 22 lengths.
He looked the class act on paper – but rarely does everything go as easily as this, and Keith Donoghue could have won by further if he had wanted.
Triumph Hurdle (Cheltenham, 2014)
Many forget Tiger Roll was on the go since he was a four-year-old.
Some juvenile hurdlers turn out to be one-season wonders, but that could hardly be said of Tiger Roll.
Bought by Gigginstown after a winning hurdles bow in Britain, he finished second in a Grade One at Leopardstown before winning the Triumph Hurdle at 10/1.
National Hunt Chase (Cheltenham, 2017)
Sent off at 16/1 under Lisa O’Neill on his first run since October, he was coaxed and cajoled around to win easily.
No one could have predicted what was to come but it was a huge step forward and the first time he proved stamina was going to be his forte.
Grand National (Aintree, 2018)
Tiger Roll was sent off a 10/1 chance and after keeping a low profile early on, he cruised into the lead looking as though he was going to be one of the easiest Grand National winners in modern history.
However, the famous Aintree run-in almost claimed another victim as Pleasant Company was closing with every stride – eventually being beaten a neck.