Can Tiger Roll Follow Red Rum For Two Grand Nationals In A Row?
All eyes will be on a little corner of Liverpool on Saturday as the 2019 Aintree Grand National takes centre stage and Niall Cronin gives us his tips here.
The most famous race in National Hunt racing will revolve around last year’s winner Tiger Roll and whether or not he can become the first horse to win the back to back Grand National’s since the legendary Red Rum.
Tiger Roll has become something of a legend in his own right. This is the horse that won a Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and has been back there to win a National Hunt Chase and two Cross Country Chase’s at the March meeting as well as winning the Grand National last year.
Horses don’t win back to back Grand National’s any more. In fact most Grand National winners struggle to win any sort of race after their finest hour at Aintree. Tiger Roll has most certainly defied that.
In winning at Cheltenham he looked better than ever, prior to winning at Cheltenham he won a Boyne Hurdle at Navan to further prove his versatility.
We have to be honest and say all this form and the fondness of the public for Tiger Roll has turned him into a terrible price at 7/2 for a race that takes place against 39 rivals over four and a quarter miles and the toughest obstacles in the sport.
Tiger Roll has proven that he can negotiate all of the above but it’s so important that Davy Russel gets the luck that’s needed in the National.
With a clear round, Tiger Roll will win. He’s up 9lbs from last year but he looked far beyond a 9lbs better horse last month. But this is the Grand National and you are allowed to have a back up plan.
Gordon Elliott’s team of 13 runners in the race was reduced to 11 when Outlander and Don Poli were sold at the Goffs Aintree Sale on Thursday evening but Elliott is still set to launch a record breaking team.
BoyleSports ambassador Robbie Power has a good ride on American Grand National winner Jury Duty but he’ll be hoping that the ground dries up a bit on Friday.
One of Elliott’s that does stand out as being very good value is the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Trial winner Dounikos.
The eight-year-old did lose his way a little before winning the BoyleSports Irish Grand National Trial at Punchestown but a glance back through his form last season as a novice would make him look fairly well handicapped in Aintree off just 11st.
Dounikos finished less than two lengths off Monalee in a Grade 1 last season and although he hasn’t always been able to back up that level of form, if he was ignited by the National fences he could well give Jack Kennedy a great spin and look a big price at 33/1.
Half of the field are Irish based but of those representing the home nations the David Pipe-trained Ramses De Teillee and Sue Smith’s Cheltenham Festival runner-up Vintage Clouds look to be the pick of the bunch.
The cut off for reserves to get into the race is 1pm on Friday and if the current first reserve The Young Master was to make his way into the race before that time he would certainly be worth an each-way bet but his participation would look unlikely at this stage.
You must keep your options open in the National so if the 7/2 about Tiger Roll doesn’t appeal to you Dounikos and Vintage Clouds should be your two each-way bets in this spectacular race.
*Prices correct at time of publication