Pics: Tiger Roll returns to Ireland after retaining Grand National

Pics: Tiger Roll returns to Ireland after retaining Grand National

Irish racing's hero, Tiger Roll, has paraded in Summerhill in Meath after winning back-to-back Grand Nationals at Aintree yesterday.

Around 2,000 people were in attendance as Tiger Roll, also a four-time Cheltenham Festival winner, strutted his stuff on the main street alongside his trainer, jockey Davy Russell, his devoted groom Louise Magee and owner Michael O'Leary, among others.

Tiger Roll was the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win consecutive Grand Nationals, but his owner is reluctant to send the nine-year-old back to Liverpool next year in a bid to equal Red Rum's record of three wins in the race.

O'Leary has intimated that Tiger Roll will be retired if he wins next year's Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham.

He said he has a duty of care to the horse and may retire him after next year's Cheltenham Festival.

The homecoming of 2019 Randox Health Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll

All photos by Sportsfile.

O'Leary, who runs Tiger Roll under his Gigginstown House Stud banner, said: "I never thought we'd win the Grand National once in our lifetime, so to do it three times in four years (Rule The World won in 2016) is phenomenal, a fantastic achievement.

"It was a fantastic day, the atmosphere in Aintree was electric.

"There was a lot of expectation he might win it again and he was a hot favourite, and very rarely does the hot favourite win the Grand National.

"That they are now talking about him in the same breath as Red Rum just made for a phenomenal, historic occasion."

The Ryanair boss treated passengers to free drinks on his flight back to Ireland after the race, and added: "I give away free drinks every time we win the Grand National, it probably won't happen for another 45 years."

Elliott, a native of Summerhill, who was winning his third National having struck Aintree gold with Silver Birch in 2007, said: "To come back here and see the crowds, it's unbelievable, it's great.

"You get emotional, it's the biggest race in the world.

"Everyone will remember Tiger Roll winning two in a row.

"We're all proud Summerhill men.

"My uncle passed away this year, he used to take me point-to-pointing and the race was for him.

"It was a great day, brilliant. To come here (and celebrate) two years in a row is great - this is a great community, everyone gets on well, so it's great to see a big crowd here.

"It looks an even bigger crowd than last year."

Elliott returned to his local village on Saturday after catching a Ryanair flight from Liverpool to Dublin and the celebrations continued long into the night.

Asked about plans for later today, Elliott quipped: "I'll have a few quiet drinks in Shaw's (pub).

"He (Tiger Roll) got back about 6.30am, I was in bed before him, but tonight will be a different story."

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