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Where Next For The Impressive Tiger Roll?

Tiger Roll is arguably the most popular horse in training today, so his success in the 2021 Cross Country Chase, his fifth victory at the Cheltenham Festival, was a result cheered by many.

Unfortunately for supporters of the horse, they will not get to see him make Grand National history next month as he has been withdrawn from the steeplechase due to what connections describe as ‘unfair weight’.

On the basis of his performance in the Cross Country Chase, where he reversed the result with last year’s winner Easysland, he looked in great form and could be ready to win some more races before the season is over.

Tiger Roll was given a mark of 167 for the Grand National. That would have been enough for him to take his place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Al Boum Photo, the favourite in the Cheltenham Festival betting for the race, is rated at 175 so just 8lb higher than the popular chaser.

Irish Grand National

Connections will now be considering the other options left for Tiger Roll this season. One of them will be the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. This would be another major race for the versatile horse to add to his achievements.

Some great horses have been successful in the Irish Grand National over the years, including Arkle, Flyingbolt and Desert Orchid. Tiger Roll would join that list as one of the biggest names to score if he did come out on top in the 3m5f contest.

Tiger Roll did appear in the Irish Grand National in 2017. He was pulled up in the race which Our Duke won. He is a much better horse now over fences, so he would be in with a good chance of improving his record in the staying contest.

Punchestown Festival

The Punchestown Festival is one of the last big meetings in the National Hunt calendar in the UK and Ireland. Due to his appearances in the Grand National, Tiger Roll has not appeared at the festival since 2016.

With no Grand National this year, his owners will be considering some of the chase races across the meeting. His only two previous runs at the Punchestown Festival have come over hurdles. He is likely to be much fresher than some of the horses taking part which gives him a good chance of landing a big prize.

Next Season

Another option for connections is to put Tiger Roll away now until the start of next season. Their chaser is 12 years old so he is young enough to return for the 2021/22 campaign. A third Grand National in 2022 cannot be ruled out. A lot will depend on how the official handicapper rates the horse next February.

A sixth Cheltenham Festival win will also be a target next season. This would match Quevega’s six successes. His achievement would be far greater though, as he has won a Triumph Hurdle, National Hunt Challenge Cup, along with his three Cross Country victories.

Wherever he does line up next, all eyes will be on the Irish horse who has established himself as one of the modern day heroes in his sport.