Tiger Roll has been called both a “little rat” by his owner Michael O’Leary, and “lion-hearted” by jockey Davy Russell — but the latter quality will be needed if he is to emulate the legendary Red Rum and win back-to-back Grand Nationals at Aintree today.
Youghal’s Russell will once again be in the saddle — trainer Gordon Elliott contributes an astonishing 11 of the 40 runners — and is a hot favourite to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1973/74 to win the world’s greatest steeplechase on successive occasions.
The annihilation of a classy field in the Cross Country race at Cheltenham last month suggests it will take a monumental performance to prevent him from doing so.
Even if he does cross the line in front, those raised on the Red Rum legend — such as Donald McCain, the son of ‘Rummie’s’ trainer Ginger — will not be mentioning him in the same breath.
“I think Tiger Roll has a great chance of winning another National,” said McCain, who trained a National winner himself in Ballabriggs in 2011.