The countdown to the 2020 Grand National is firmly underway after the back-to-back reigning champion made his first appearance of the jumps season on Sunday afternoon. It was a welcome sight for racegoers as Tiger Roll made it around the track unscathed on route to the Grand National at Aintree in April.
When: Saturday 4th April
Where: Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool
Tiger Roll Unsuccessful
It wasn’t the perfect return as Tiger Roll wasn’t able to get the win as he made his return to the track. His usual jockey Davy Russell was onboard the winner of the race as Navan. Russell rode home Cracking Smart, who is a stablemate of Tiger Roll.
Gordon Elliott, who trains the dual Grand National winner was thrilled with his outing over the 2m 5f. He quickly admitted that the plan for the legendary horse will be the same as it has been for the past two years. He will now head off to Cheltenham for the Cross Country, before all eyes will be set on the Grand National.
There were fears last week that Tiger Roll may abandon any hopes of going for the record-equalling third National success after it was revealed that he would be carrying top weight for the illustrious race. However, Elliott calmed any fears by expressing that the ten-year-old will be heading to Aintree if his Cheltenham run is good.
No horse has won the Grand National from top weigh since Red Rum. Tiger Roll will be attempting to break Rummy’s record for the number of National wins. He may not have won at Navan, but there is a serious point that he is looking better now than he has done over previous seasons at this point.
Grand National Trials Day
Tiger Roll’s return to the track wasn’t the only notable Grand National action to take place this past weekend, as there was also a trial at Haydock for the race in April. This race gave punters an immediate impression on how the race at Aintree may go, but it was a shock winner for the featured race of the day.
Yala Enki was the favourite in the race for the trial, as many gamblers will be backing Bryony Frost to emulate her father’s success of winning the Grand National. If she was able to do that, she would also become the first woman to ride a Grand National winner. However, Yala Enki’s preparations suffered a setback on Saturday afternoon as he could only finish third.
That run means that his odds for the Grand National have quickly rose. The winner of the race was an outside bet, as Smooth Stepper raced home with odds of +3000. The eleven-year-old may not target the Grand National itself, however, as connections immediately detailed their plan to go for the Midlands National in March. Former Grand National winner One For Arthur was also involved in the trial, but he was pulled up before the 15th fence. His odds for the National have now risen to +2500.
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