I Wouldn’t Be Backing Tiger Roll At Those Prices

The carnival atmosphere at Aintree is something really special.

I was leading jockey there in 2017 and had another Grade 1 winner there last year so it’s always been lucky for me. Let’s hope it continues this year!

Thankfully the doctor has given me the all-clear for racing on Thursday after my recent back injury so it’s all systems go.

Tiger Roll
Tiger Roll’s two performances this year have been exceptional.

He has shown that he’s a better horse this year than he was last year so its not a surprise to see the attention he is attracting in the Grand National market.

Something you have to remember he is 9lb higher this time around.

He only won by a short head last year so would I back him at the short prices around at the minute? Definitely not, but he probably deserves to be the short-priced favourite based on what he has done last year and this year.

Jury Duty
I ride Jury Duty in the Aintree Grand National on Saturday, a horse I won the American Grand National onboard last year.

Gordon is very happy with his form. I went over to the Curragh last week to watch him school over the Aintree-style fences. Keith Donoghue rode him and he was very happy with him when he got off. He looked to be taking them on and jumping them very well so if Keith is happy and Gordon is happy, then I’m happy too!

You never know with Aintree, when a horse hasn’t been there before, how they’re going to take to those specific fences so you can do all the schooling you want at home but I’ll have a fair idea by the time I get to Becher’s the first time how things are going to go.

Grand National first-timers
I often get asked what is the most important factor in a horse taking to Grand National fences for the first time.

The answer is bravery.

You can have horses who are very good jumpers over normal fences but they can be safe jumpers, not brave enough. Going down to the first fence in the Grand National at that speed, they have to be brave. They obviously have to be clever as well but if they’re not brave facing that first fence, you’re in for a long day!

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