Tiger Roll stands ground at latest Grand National stage

History awaits Gordon Elliott’s remarkable 10-year-old, who is due to complete his preparations at the Cheltenham Festival when he attempts to win there for a fifth time in all.

Tiger Roll stands ground at latest Grand National stage

Tiger Roll is among 89 remaining contenders for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on April 4.

History awaits Gordon Elliott’s remarkable 10-year-old, who is due to complete his preparations at the Cheltenham Festival when he attempts to win there for a fifth time in all.

No horse has ever claimed the Aintree spectacular in three successive years, but Tiger Roll is currently favourite to do just that.

Last year’s runner-up Magic Of Light is on course despite finishing well behind Tiger Roll recently in the Boyne Hurdle. Prior to that she had been in fine form, winning at Newbury and Ascot.

Her trainer Jessica Harrington said: “Magic Of Light is in good form. She wasn’t as slick at her hurdles in Navan, but I think the ground was just too heavy for her.

“The Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham was an option, but the race looks very competitive - she would have been taking on two talented mares in Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle if they run. With that in mind, she will go straight to Aintree.

“She has a nice weight for Aintree and we are looking forward to taking her back there.”

Stablemate Jett is also in the mix, having run well in top company the last twice.

“Jett is our other contender for the Grand National and the plan would be to run him, provided the ground is suitable,” said Harrignton.

“He prefers better ground to testing conditions, but he has run some fine races in defeat this season.

“I have been delighted with him and think there is plenty more to come from him.

“He stays very well and is a good jumper and has plenty of tactical speed.”

Tiger Roll’s stablemate Delta Work, a strong fancy for the Gold Cup next month, was one of 16 horses taken out, alongside Chris’s Dream, Missed Approach, the injured Native River and Noble Endeavor. Those still outside the top 40 include Give Me A Copper, Takingrisks and Le Breuil (61). The next scratching stage is March 17.

Meanwhile red-hot favourite Appreciate It is one of four potential runners for Willie Mullins in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

It is 24 years since the County Carlow handler trained and rode Wither Or Which to claim the Grade One prize, since when he has saddled another eight winners, with Florida Pearl (1997), Alexander Banquet (1998) and Champagne Fever (2012) among those on the roll of honour.

Appreciate It is a best-priced 7-4 to add to the Mullins tally at this year’s Festival, having won two of his three starts to date, including a brilliant display at the Dublin Racing Festival earlier this month.

Ferny Hollow is in contention for Mullins after belatedly getting off the mark at Fairyhouse last weekend, while the Closutton quartet is completed by another Fairyhouse winner, Five Bar Brian, and Thurles scorer Energumene.

Speaking when hosting the media at his yard last week, Mullins said Appreciate It “has done everything right in his two runs and will have a big chance”.

He added: “He has a huge cruising speed, which is probably what you need for the race. He’d have to be one of our main hopes.”

One of the big threats to the Mullins brigade is a former stablemate in the shape of Panic Attack. The daughter of Canford Cliffs made a sparkling debut in a Listed event at Market Rasen, but has since been bought privately and is now in training with David Pipe.

Pipe could also call upon Israel Champ and Make Me A Believer.

Gordon Elliott’s four hopefuls are Farouk D’Alene, Darling Daughter, Eskylane and Queens Brook.

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