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.

More on this topic

Appleby not yet ruling out Derby date with Duty

Bank on Benie in champion hurdle

Elliott now faces acid test

Too Darn Hot puts Derby credentials on the line

More in this Section

Solving a lack of attacking flair will be top of Potter’s Brighton in-tray

Weekend talking points: Cork comeback breathes life into the Munster Championship

New Scotland boss Clarke sets sights on qualification for Euro 2020

Munster Championship attendances on the rise


Lifestyle

Irish Examiner Sustainability Month special: Are retailers meeting customer expectations for sustainable products?

Making the most of Irish strawberries - Michelle Darmody shares her recipes

Making Cents: Help protect the planet and occupy the kids

Good Omens and great expectations

More From The Irish Examiner