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'The handicapper wants to make it absolutely impossible for Tiger Roll to even go for a third Grand National'

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Tiger Roll has won the last two Aintree Grand Nationals. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Tiger Roll has won the last two Aintree Grand Nationals. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Tiger Roll has won the last two Aintree Grand Nationals. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Tiger Roll's historic English Grand National hat-trick bid is up in the air after Gordon Elliott's charge was handed a rating of 170, which will see him carry joint top-weight of 11-10 along with his stable-mate and Gold Cup contender Delta Work.

Owner Michael O'Leary had already mooted the possibility that Tiger Roll would not run in the Aintree showpiece if they felt that the English handicapper Martin Greenwood was harsh on the loveable 10-year-old.

Reacting to today's announcement of the National weights, Gigginstown House Stud racing manager Eddie O'Leary revealed that he is "not sure" whether Tiger Roll will take his place at Aintree on April 4.

"We're a bit disappointed, he was compressed by only 1lb. In the recent past, there have been six, eight and 10lb compressions and he's been asked to run off level weights with what's probably our best young horse (Delta Work)," O'Leary told At The Races.

"It has ranged from 12lbs all the way down to 5lbs last year and to give us 1lb is disappointing but the handicapper has his job to do and so be it. He (Greenwood) wants to make it absolutely impossible to even go for a third (attempt)."

When asked whether the weight could be too much of a burden for Tiger Roll to take his chance and try to equal Red Rum's three Grand National victories, O'Leary was non-committal but did suggest that he could run in another race at the Aintree festival.

"I'm not sure. One thing for certain is that he'll be entered in the Betfair Bowl (a Grade One over 3m1f) as well. Tiger is very special to us and we'll look after him first and foremost," O'Leary said.

"Hopefully he comes through Navan on Sunday okay and then goes on to Cheltenham and hopefully that all goes okay, then we'll make a choice.

"It's a massive factor (the weight) and to rate this horse (Tiger Roll) as (high as) the winner of the Gold Cup is ridiculous. Tiger Roll is a very, very special horse but is he a Gold Cup horse?

"Well, a genius like Gordon Elliott has never even considered entering him in the Gold Cup."

Tiger Roll makes his seasonal return in Sunday's Boyne Hurdle at Navan having overcome a minor injury that saw him out of work for just over a month before Christmas.

The son of Authorized will head to Cheltenham thereafter with a hat-trick of Cross Country Chase wins on the cards. Whether he shows up at Aintree for the Grand National is another story altogether, however. Time will tell.

Online Editors