Previously considered invincible over the Cross Country fences, Tiger Roll has suffered defeat at odds-on to French raider Easysland in the Glenfarclas Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
He’s now suffered defeats in both that contest and the Boyne Hurdle, races he won in 2019 prior to his second Grand National. After his latest defeat, surely it’s time for Gigginstown to retire him. Forcing a horse clearly below his best to carry a mark top weight around the National fences is bordering on madness.
2020 Cheltenham Festival
Gordon Elliott had expressed misgivings about the ground earlier in the day. Such was his record in the race as well as all previous form, very few thought that would be an issue. He landed the first of his two Nationals on heavy ground, as well as winning this race by twenty-two lengths on soft last term.
The ground was no worse than soft this year, with other classy peformers such as Envoi Allen and Champ having no issue in scoring. It all leads to one thing – that Tiger Roll simply isn’t as good as he once was.
The Cross Country division is devoid of stand out performers, largely providing a home for regressive veterans such as Might Bite and Yanworth. Easysland represented a different challenge this year, given his upwardly mobile profile. Nevertheless, his previous peak RPR is just 156, an effort that falls some way short of what Tiger Roll showed when winning in 2019.
Not only did Tiger Roll fail to beat Easysland, he came up a long way short. Thereabouts coming round the final bend, he found little under pressure and didn’t see out his race that well at all.
The 2020 Grand National
Bidding for his third Grand National carrying a massive weight is surely going to demand more of him. He’s going to have to give weight to some very classy operators over an even further trip.
Connections had already expressed misgivings about running him at Aintree in 2020 under a big weight. That was before it came to light that he was a long way short of his best.
Surely he doesn’t deserve such a hard test at Aintree in April. He’s been the horse of a lifetime for an owner who has already had plenty of those. He owes us and Gigginstown absolutely nothing after landing back to back Grand Nationals. Sending him in pursuit of a third National looks a hugely demanding task for a horse who has already given all that he has to give.