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Outrage if Tiger doesn't qualify for Aintree: Power

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Tiger Roll must run over fences at least once to make the Grand National

Tiger Roll must run over fences at least once to make the Grand National

Tiger Roll must run over fences at least once to make the Grand National

Tiger Roll stands on the brink of history with a third Aintree Grand National in his sights but should anything go awry between now and Cheltenham, those hopes could be dramatically dashed.

'The People's Horse' attracted a bumper crowd to Navan on Sunday with a pleasing seasonal reappearance in the Boyne Hurdle but that doesn't assure the 10-year-old's place in the world's greatest steeplechase.

In order to qualify for the Liverpool showpiece, he must have run over fences at least once in the current season before March 16 so Gordon Elliott will pray that all goes to plan in the coming weeks.

Tiger Roll will tick that criteria when hoping to complete a hat-trick in the Cross County Chase on the opening day at the Cotswolds on March 10 but jockey and Herald columnist Robbie Power believes that such criteria is ludicrous for a back-to-back winner.

"There is a possibility that if something goes wrong that Tiger Roll wouldn't qualify for the Grand National and that is an absolute outrage," Power (above) wrote in his blog.

"A horse of his stature, that has won the race twice, still has to qualify for it. For the sake of racing I hope that he does line up for Cheltenham and that everything goes well because it would be a complete catastrophe if he didn't qualify for the National."

One horse that won't be going to Cheltenham is Wolf Prince, with Gavin Cromwell forced to rule his promising juvenile hurdler out of the Festival after picking up a setback.

Meanwhile, it's third-time lucky for Punchestown today as the Grand National Trial (2.45) looks set to finally beat the weather with Elliott's Minella Till Dawn leading the race for the €100,000 pot.

It may pay to side with Michael Hourigan's The Gatechecker, however, while Elliott (Floueur) and Willie Mullins (Lord Royal) look to have the Grade Three Novice Hurdle (3.20) sown up between them.


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