Tiger Roll may find he has a lion’s heart today

Tiger Roll, Cheltenham 2019.

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.

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