Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tiger ready to Roll at Grand National

Tiger Roll is the hot favourite at this year's Grand National at Aintree. Credit: UTV

Tiger Roll leads the Irish charge at this year’s Grand National at Aintree.

The 2018 winner is the hot favourite to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to successfully defend the coveted crown.

Tiger Roll is one of a record 11 runners for Co Meath trainer Gordon Elliott in Saturday’s race.

“He’s in good form and we’ve had a great preparation,” Elliott said, speaking to UTV at his Cullentra Stables.

“Tiger Roll is the one we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for.”

A field of 40 runners has been named for the world’s most famous horse race.

Top weight Anibale Fly, last year’s runner up Pleasant Company, and former winner One For Arthur are among those hoping to dethrone Tiger Roll.

The cross-country chase at Cheltenham last month was masterfully managed by Keith Donoghue on board Tiger Roll who called it a “serious performance”.

He added: “He’s fresh and well. He came out of Cheltenham well and he seems in great form so all roads lead to Aintree.”

Donoghue will cede Saturday’s ride to last year’s winning jockey Davy Russell. Donoghue believes Tiger Roll “is an even better horse this year going into the National”.

Often tips and form go out the window as the 30 fences play havoc.

Elliott has form in the race though, a two-time winning trainer with Tiger Roll’s success last year adding to Silver Birch’s magnificent win in 2007.

Elliott said simply: “You always want to win more. That’s the same in any sport.”

It is estimated a quarter of adults in the UK and Ireland will have a flutter on the big one at 5.15pm on Saturday.

Nearly half pick the horse because of its name in the Grand National race - with 19% going for the colour of the horse, and 18% picking a “lucky” number.

With roughly 600 million people worldwide watching, will Tiger Roll master Aintree once again, or will a new contender from the pack take his place as the Grand National champion?