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Michael O'Leary has change of heart as Tiger Roll gets green light for historic Aintree Grand National hat-trick bid

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Trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Michael O'Leary with Tiger Roll after winning the Aintree Grand National last April

Trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Michael O'Leary with Tiger Roll after winning the Aintree Grand National last April

PA

Trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Michael O'Leary with Tiger Roll after winning the Aintree Grand National last April

Tiger Roll will have his date with destiny in April's Aintree Grand National after Gigginstown House Stud supremo Michael O'Leary gave the green light for the back-to-back winner to make an historic hat-trick bid.

It had been mooted that Gordon's Elliott's loveable 10-year-old would swerve the Liverpool showpiece and a shot at history having been handed a rating of 170 by English handicapper Martin Greenwood but O'Leary has changed his stance.

Speaking to the Racing Post earlier today, Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O'Leary confirmed the news which every racing fan wanted to hear as Tiger Roll moves a step closer to racing immortality.

"We all had a sit down on Thursday night to discuss everything and we have decided that Tiger Roll will definitely run in the Grand National provided everything goes okay on his return to action at Navan on Sunday, and in the cross country at Cheltenham next month," O'Leary told the Racing Post.

Red Rum is the only horse to have landed the world's greatest steeplechase on three occasions (1973/'74 and '77) but Tiger Roll can better that on April 4 should he win three Grand Nationals in succession.

'The people's horse' returns for his first run since landing his second Grand National last April when he tackles the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle in Navan on Sunday, a race he landed in sensational style last season at 25/1.

Providing all goes to plan at the weekend, Tiger Roll will head to Cheltenham next month where he eyes a hat-trick of wins in the Cross Country Chase before another tilt at the Grand National.

Tiger Roll is generally 5/1 favourite for the Grand National – where he will carry 11-10 under Davy Russell – but regular work rider Keith Donoghue will be in the plate this week at the Meath track.

Online Editors