Two-time winner Tiger Roll is being made to carry a top weight of 11st 10lb as he aims to make history by winning a third race.
The 2018 and 2019 winner could match Red Rum’s record of three Grand National victories and become the first horse to win the famous Aintree steeplechase three years in a row. Whether you follow horse racing on this side of the Atlantic or on the Stateside, you can always learn more about betting on horses in Maine with help and guidance from our friends at Bet Maine.
Trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, the ten-year-old has been handed the top weight along with stablemate Delta Work.
The next horse down is Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Bristol De Mai, who clocks in at 11st 8lb.
Other fancied contenders include last year’s Irish National winner Burrows Saint (10st 10lb), and Warwick’s Classic Chase victor Kimberlite Candy (10st 4lb).
Handicapper Martin Greenwood believes this year’s contest will be one of the most fiercely competitive in recent memory.
He added: “The race is full of top-class individuals and boasts the winners of races such as the Grand National, Irish National, Welsh National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and much more.”
There had been doubts whether the 10-year-old would be entering the big showpiece given the weight.
But those doubts gave way under the accomplishments of Tiger Roll, who became the first back-to-back winner at Aintree since the legendary Red Rum during the 1970s.
The O’Learys have long suggested he might not run at Aintree if the handicapper is considered to have treated their horse unfairly, although many believe they will not easily turn down a chance at making racing history.
O’Leary told the Racing Post: “Delta Work is our Gold Cup horse and the handicapper thinks Tiger Roll is as good as him, that makes no sense to me at all.
“Tiger Roll is a brilliant, brilliant horse and he is completely invaluable to us, but we have to do our best by the horse.”
He has not run since last year’s National when he won by two-and-three-quarter lengths from the mare Magic Of Light, who at 10st 12lb is 4lb better off this time comparatively with the 2019 victor.
Tiger Roll is expected to have a similar preparation this time, with Sunday’s Boyne Hurdle at Navan, followed by the Cross-Country Chase next month where he would be seeking a fifth Cheltenham Festival win.