Grand National Festival: Tiger ready to Roll in 3m Handicap
David Metcalf | April 8, 2016
Tiger Roll can roar to success in Aintree opener
Tiger Roll can take advantage of a drop in the weights to land the 3m Gaskell Waste Management Handicap Hurdle that opens proceedings on Crabbie’s Grand National day at Aintree (13:45).
Trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, the gelding was a very smart juvenile hurdler in 2014 where his successes include a 3 1/4 length victory over Kentucky Hyden in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Tiger Roll went on to notch another success at the same venue, but things haven’t gone to plan since.
The six-year-old’s best effort in six subsequent starts over the obstacles came when third to Kitten Rock in a Grade 2 contest at Gowran Park, but his handicap mark has fallen as a result.
Given a big chance by the handicapper
Having been rated as high as 150, Tiger Roll is now able to race off a career-low of 145.
That makes the son of Authorized dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form, and he comes into the race having run very well to finish runner-up on the level at Dundalk following 327 days on the sidelines.
It was a highly encouraging effort which should have put Tiger Roll spot on for this, and he appears top have been laid out for the race by his shrewd handler who is enjoying a tremendous season.
If In Doubt a big player
If In Doubt was a desperately unlucky loser at the Cheltenham Festival and looks sure to go well for trainer Philip Hobbs.
The eight-year-old got badly hampered on two occasions and nearly brought down between the final two flights of the Pertemps Final, and also got carried badly left on the run-in before being beaten just a length into third behind Mall Dini.
It was an amazing effort given how the race panned out, and I am convinced that If In Doubt would have prevailed granted better luck in-running.
Although now 4lb higher in the weights, the form of that race is strong and the gelding would be carrying more had he finished first past the post.
If In Doubt also carries the colours of leading Irish owner JP McManus who loves nothing more than to plunder handicaps at the big Festivals, and everything points to a huge run.
Find more Grand National Festival tips and previews on our Aintree page.
Coral’s top tip: Tiger Roll has become well-weighted and looks decent value to land a competitive opener. If In Doubt rates a big danger following a luckless run at the Cheltenham Festival.