There is no way to dispute, Tiger Roll has been the horse of a lifetime. You don’t win at three Cheltenham Festivals over contrasting trips without being just that good. In 2020, he’ll bid to do the unthinkable, become the first horse to win three Grand Nationals on the spin. Only Red Rum has won three Grand Nationals, but he did so when recapturing the prize.
Currently a general 6/1 favourite for the 2020 Grand National, you wouldn’t be amiss in double-taking and scoffing at such a short-price (in National terms anyway). As much as we’d all love to see him do it, Tiger Roll is not going to win his third Grand National, and here is why. For all our horse racing tips check on site now and any other Grand National opinions, check out myracingtips on Twitter!
No Other Horse Has Done It
The Grand National has been run since 1839, and how many horses have won the Grand National back to back to back? The answer is none, and there is very good reason for that. The Grand National takes plenty out of a horse and winning it once is a huge achievement. Winning it twice is rare, and winning it three times – that’s non-existent.
When a horse wins a Grand National, they’ll more than likely arrive next year off a higher mark. That increases the burden going into the contest and although experience goes a long way, that only goes so far. Weight stops horses, no matter how good they are, especially in a contest like the Grand National.
Weight is a key factor in any Grand National and with Tiger Roll starting this season off a mark of 172, he’s guaranteed to be defending his crown off top weight. He’s only had his weight compressed for the Grand National by one-pound, much to the bemusement of Gigginstown’s Racing Manager Michael O’Leary. That means Tiger Roll will be eleven pounds higher than last year’s National triumph, which makes his 2020 tilt a potentially insurmountable task.
Not only will his weight be an issue in itself, without a horse like Native River also being in the race, he’s going to be conceding a huge amount of weight to the rest of the field. For context, if Delta Work comes out of the race, along with Native River and Bristol De Mai, he’d be conceding the whole field upwards of eight pounds.
There is a very good reason why since 1990, only four horses have carried 11st 1lb or more to Grand National victory. One of those horses was Tiger Roll last year, and it really does put his task into perspective.
He May Not Even Run
There has been a huge amount of chatter about Tiger Roll not even going for his third Grand National. Whether you believe it or not, Michael O’Leary is right in saying that connections have to do right by the horse. If he and Gordon Elliott sit down and don’t believe that going for a third Grand National, Britain’s toughest and most attritional contest, is going to benefit the horse, then they shouldn’t do so.
That being said, Tiger Roll clearly still loves his racing and Elliott will have him fit as a fiddle for the race. There is history to be made here and if Tiger Roll did manage to do the unthinkable, as crazy as it is, then he’d be etched not only into racing folklore, but into British Stardom forever.
If connections believe it viable, regardless of whether his weight for the National weight is fair in their eyes or not, then Tiger Roll deserves to take his chance. Winning the race should be out of his grasp with all the factors stacked against him, but he certainly deserves his chance.