Randox Health Grand National bid is Tiger Roll’s main target
Gordon Elliott has confirmed that history-making Randox Health Grand National bid is Tiger Roll’s main target
Tiger Roll will run only twice this season before bidding to become the first horse in history to win the £1-million Randox Health Grand National for a third consecutive year, his trainer Gordon Elliott has revealed.
In April, Tiger Roll emulated the legendary Red Rum to win the world’s greatest steeplechase back to back.
Trainer Gordon Elliott has now confirmed for the first time that the Gigginstown-owned nine-year-old is definitely being aimed at the Aintree showpiece event on Saturday, April 4, 2020, with top jockey Davy Russell named as the man who will partner him again.
However, Tiger Roll will not set foot on a racecourse until the New Year in preparation for his record-breaking attempt, with a bid to win at a fifth Cheltenham Festival also planned.
In an interview with Aintree Racecourse, Gordon Elliott said Tiger Roll has returned to the yard from his summer holiday fit and well.
“It is great to see him back, doing a bit of work again. He has had a nice couple of months of summer holidays.
“He went back to Gigginstown obviously. He was probably out there and had about 10-12 weeks out on grass. He hasn’t had a saddle on him since Aintree and the National but he has done a few parades and had a few good days out, which is great.
“I have seen him a couple of times during the summer at Gigginstown and he was good and strong, and I have seen him when he was here for a while before he went off to do his flat work and he looked good.
“He will probably do three or four weeks of flat work before he comes back to us in the main yard here.
“Obviously he won’t be that busy this year. We are going to have to mind him now and pick and choose where we go. He will probably have one run over hurdles, maybe something like the Boyne Hurdle (Navan, February) again. He will go back to Cheltenham (March) for the Cross Country race and then we’ll go for the Randox Health Grand National.”
The trainer went on to reveal riding arrangements for this season: “Keith (Donoghue) will ride him in Cheltenham in the Cross Country race and the Boyne Hurdle and then Davy Russell will ride him in the National.”
Elliott was also candid when asked whether he had been tempted to run Tiger Roll in one of the top G1 races of the Jumps calendar.
He said: “People tell me I should be entering him in Stayers’ Hurdles or Gold Cups but I was always taught and I am a big believer in going for the race you think you can win at the Cheltenham Festival and the race I think I can win at the Cheltenham Festival is the Cross Country race, so that’s where he will go. But the number one target this year will be the English National.”
Tiger Roll’s second Randox Health Grand National win in April this year sparked huge interest around Britain and Ireland in the horse, along with a number of public appearances in the weeks which followed.
Elliott admits that he only realised how much his stable superstar meant to people after the race when reading headlines and meeting people.
He explained: “You don’t really realise how much the horse meant to everyone. You see all the kids and all the different people who came to the yard.
“You don’t really appreciate it when you are in the bubble yourself. You don’t realise how much of a thing there is about this horse, you know? It’s only after when you sit back and you watch the videos and read all the paper clippings, people have really got to like him.
“You know, he has got a great name, Tiger Roll, and he’s got a great heart. He has obviously won at four Cheltenham Festivals and to win two Randox Health Grand Nationals has been unbelievable.
“Everyone who comes into the yard, there’s only one horse they want to see and that is Tiger Roll. He’s a people’s horse now and we are very lucky to have him.
“Red Rum was before my time but you’ve seen the videos and heard all about him. He was an amazing horse and to be in the same league as him is unbelievable.”
Ominously for his rivals, Elliott says he thinks Tiger Roll has improved as a horse and, if everything in his preparation goes right, he will have a fantastic chance to make history.
He added: “I suppose last year (2018) we thought he would hose up until the last 50 yards and he just nearly got caught. I was still confident when he had got past the line last year that he had won but, until they call the result, you never know.
“This year was probably easier to watch. He travelled and jumped and did everything right. You know, it’s a funny thing to say but he was arguably a better horse this year than he was last year.
“I think the build up to the English National this season is going to be unbelievable. The hype – people are talking about him already. Whether he wins, loses or draws if he gets back there to have a go at three in a row it’s going to be great. The hype is going to be brilliant.”
If all the preparation has gone well then, come April, all the focus will be on one horse and whether he can write himself into the record books yet again.
His trainer is confident the “people’s horse” will not be worried about the pressure.
Referring to his victory in this year’s Randox Health Grand National, Elliott concluded: “We were very, very happy with the horse, he was in great form and we got him there in great order. If we can get him there in half as good a form next year then he will have a massive chance.
“He knows he’s good, he loves the attention. You just watch him walking round the parade ring before and after races and he knows he is Tiger Roll.”
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The sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National has congratulated Tiger Roll, Davy Russell, Gordon Elliott and Michael O’Leary as they secured their spot in the history books at Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Health, had high praise for both Aintree Racecourse and his Randox Health team, saying;
“We were delighted to once again partner with the Jockey Club and Aintree Racecourse, together bringing the Randox Health Grand National to the millions who avidly awaited the unfolding of this iconic event.
“Over the last two years of our sponsorship, the theatrics that this Festival has produced have been second-to-none and this, our third year, was no exception. The atmosphere was electric and the cheers of the crowd deafening as Tiger Roll, steered by Davy Russell, stretched himself ahead of the competition to become the first consecutive winner of this most famous race since the days of Red Rum.
“It is a tale which will be forever etched in the history books of Aintree Racecourse and steeplechase racing.
“Congratulations to Tiger Roll’s jockey Davy Russell, trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Michael O’Leary who once again delivered a fairytale of determination and dedication as the small but mighty Tiger Roll stormed to victory for a second time.
“Whilst our partnership with the Randox Health Grand National and the wider Jockey Club is an opportunity for us to spread our message of preventative health, it is also a chance to show our commitment, at a national level, to this wonderful sport. I have been a keen equestrian all my life and Randox, historically, has given its name to many local Point-to-Point and Polo meetings near our headquarters in Northern Ireland.
“It’s the perfect fit, therefore, to unite our company ethos, of helping people to extend and enjoy their lives, with the people’s race, the Randox Health Grand National. Together, we can encourage people to live healthier for longer, in order to enjoy events such as this glorious Festival for as long as possible.
“Our message of preventative health is an important one, particularly in a health-conscious world, and that’s why we have been offering the public a 20% discount across all our health packages and services over the course of the Randox Health Grand National and until the end of April 2019.
“This year, we also highlighted our STI at-home test kit Confidante. Sexual health is a serious issue but all too often such infections are stigmatised and access to services may be problematic – causing considerable difficulties for individuals who believe they may benefit from testing. This can lead to increased health challenges at a personal level, and potentially much higher rates of infection.
“Confidante allows for 10 STIs to be tested in a private and fully confidential manner, with the results provided directly to the individual. Improving ease-of-access to such testing is an important issue to support the health needs of those who require testing of and to help reduce the overall rates of sexual infections within society.
“The Randox Health Hub at Aintree Racecourse provided race-goers with an opportunity to engage with Confidante directly through our Secret Cinema where viewers entered a private booth, unaware of the humorous short film which awaited them. Many were in good spirits as a camera caught their reactions and all were entered in to a draw to win a FitBit on each day of the Festival
“I would like to thank the millions who joined us at the Randox Health Grand National 2019 to witness history being made – whether in person at Aintree Racecourse or tuned in to the screen or airwaves. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the coming years as we deliver the world’s most famous steeplechase and share our preventative health message.”
For more information about the Randox Health Grand National 2019 please contact the Randox PR team by emailing email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413.