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Gordon Elliott keen to roll the dice with Aintree National hero Tiger Roll

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Gordon Elliot is delighted with how Tiger Roll has recovered from injury ahead of his Grand National bid. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Gordon Elliot is delighted with how Tiger Roll has recovered from injury ahead of his Grand National bid. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Gordon Elliot is delighted with how Tiger Roll has recovered from injury ahead of his Grand National bid. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

All eyes were on Tiger Roll as the Aintree Grand National weights were published yesterday, and Gordon Elliott wasn't surprised or disappointed with the rating of 170 which was handed to the back-to-back winner.

The 10-year-old was allocated joint top-weight of 11-10 alongside stablemate Delta Work, winner of successive Grade Ones and a leading fancy for next month's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

While Gigginstown House Stud's Eddie O'Leary expressed his dissatisfaction with English handicapper Martin Greenwood over the treatment of Tiger Roll and questioned his participation in the April 4 showpiece, Elliott had no such qualms.

"A blind man would know he's going to carry 11st 10lb. We were obviously hoping for a pound or two less, but Martin (Greenwood) and his team have a job to do," Elliott said.

"We're 4lb worse off with Magic Of Light, which was second in the race last year, so it's probably fair play and I'll not be giving out. Everyone has got their own opinion. If it's left to me, he'll run."

Tiger Roll is not qualified to line up at Aintree as of yet, however, with eligibility dependent on participation in a chase during the current season prior to March 17. He is expected to line up in the Cheltenham Cross Country Chase - where he also bids for a hat-trick - on March 11 after blowing some cobwebs off this Sunday in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan.

Tiger Roll and Delta Work (already mooted by Elliott as an unlikely runner) are just two of a whopping 18 entries form the Cullentra handler, who expects to saddle a dozen runners in the Liverpool spectacular.

Alpha Des Obeaux (10-13), The Storyteller (10-12), Jury Duty (10st 8lb), Champagne Classic (10-6), Dounikos (10-5) and Galway Plate winner Borice (10-0) are among his likeliest runners while Willie Mullins has nine entries.

Successful with Hedgehunter in 2005, Irish Grand National victor Burrows Saint (10-10) is the most eye-catching Closutton entry while last year's runner-up Magic Of Light has been handed 10-12 and looks certain to be on every short list.

That was Jessica Harrington's first National runner in a distinguished career and the Moone handler has made no apologies about her thirst for Aintree glory as Magic Of Light bids to become the first mare to win the race since Nickel Coin in 1951.

Ten horses have been given 11-0 or more, including last year's Gold Cup third Bristol De Mai (11-8) - which is one of seven contenders for dual Grand National-winning handler Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Colin Tizzard's 2018 Gold Cup hero Native River (11-6) is another interesting entry, as is the JP McManus-owned Anibale Fly (11-2), fourth in 2018 and fifth last year, but disappointing so far this season for Meath's Tony Martin.

Irish Independent