While we may not be able to head to the races just yet, that doesn’t mean that the industry has slowed down. For UK and Irish trainers, it’s all go as they prepare for the coming jumps season. Now that Autumn is underway the big race meetings are drawing ever closer. And one legendary chaser that we all have our eyes on is Tiger Roll.
Trained by Gordon Elliott in Ireland, the two-time Grand National winner will be back racing as early as this month. Connections are eyeing up the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal on October 31st as a possible starting point to his prep season.
This isn’t his usual route to Cheltenham or the Grand National. Though he normally gets a run out in October, in the past connections have opted for smaller races in Wexford. That said, since he started racking up the major wins, other than Navan racecourse, he has primarily only run at Cheltenham and Aintree during the last couple of seasons.
But even Elliott is aware that he was tired going into Cheltenham in March and so has decided to change things up a little. Speaking on Betfair’s Racing Only Bettor Podcast, said: “It was a very rushed preparation to get him to Cheltenham last year and he got a little setback, as everyone knows.
“We got him to Cheltenham. He was very tired after Cheltenham. He had a hard race.”
So maybe it was a bit of a blessing for Tiger Roll that this year’s Grand National was canceled. Now he can return fresh and plan his route to the two biggest festivals next year.
Cheltenham Or The Grand National?
Without a doubt, it was a massive blow to fans to see the National not go ahead in April 2020. However, hopes are high that we will get to see the Grand National 2021 take place. So will Tiger Roll be aiming for his third win in the race?
According to Gordon Elliott, Cheltenham is the number one goal. When asked about the main target for his star chaser he said: “Well, it’s a big priority for me and he’ll be trained for Cheltenham, number one, and the Aintree Grand National, number two.
“I’m not going to make the mistake of running him on soft to heavy ground, real testing ground at an early stage during the season.
“Obviously, if we get to Cheltenham or Aintree, he’ll have to take his chance, but before that, definitely not.
“We’ll decide on ground and we’ll pick and choose where we go from there.”
Tiger Roll In The Betting Markets
Any news about Tiger Roll can cause big fluctuations in the betting markets. Those who like to have a flutter at UK online casinos and bookmakers know all too well how short he can go in the odds.
Despite confirmation from Gordon Elliott that Tiger Roll will be squarely aimed at Cheltenham, bookmakers are still favouring Easysland for the Cross Country Chase. He is a couple of years younger and comprehensively won the race earlier this year which would account for his short odds. But maybe Tiger Roll can cause an upset?
In terms of the Grand National, Tiger Roll has been holding steady at the top spot on odds of around 12/1 ante-post. But if he puts in a good run at Down Roll later this month, that could all quickly change.
With a yard packed full of talent, Elliott also has other National options. Newcomer Presenting Percy is currently being aimed at the Gold Cup. However, there is a glimmer of hope that we may actually see him in the 2021 Grand National.
It’s in the back of Gordon Eliott’s mind though no decision will be made until Christmas. So until then, we have the excitement of Tiger Roll’s seasonal debut which hopefully, ground depending, will be later this month!