It was a superb 2018 for Gordon Elliott with the County Meath-based trainer enjoying success at the Cheltenham Festival and in the Randox Health Grand National. Tiger Roll was just one of the many stable stars who triumphed during a hugely profitable couple of the months for the yard and the versatile nine-year old is already on the comeback trail. The 2016 Munster National winner will take a slightly different route this time around but connections still appear to be bullish about his chances of repeating that magnificent achievement at Aintree in 2019.
Source: Ed Chamberlain via Twitter
2018 was far from a flash in the pan for Gordon Elliott and he’s started this year in similar fashion with Battleoverdoyen triumphing in the Grade Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle. The pre-race favourite won the eight-runner contest to make it a perfect three from three. As a result, he’s been installed as the second favourite for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
The former point-to-pointer is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Roll who made it three wins at the festival and is likely to return to Prestbury Park in 2019. The 2014 Triumph Hurdle winner was Elliott’s second winner at Cheltenham and one of eight Gloucestershire triumphs for the trainer in March 2018. However, racegoers may be disappointed to learn that Tiger Roll won’t be returning to the track during the early part of the year, however, he is likely to back in time for the festival. Gordon Elliott is keen to return him to hurdles this spring before he heads to Merseyside to defend his crown and many punters are already considering an ante-post bet on the diminutive chaser.
The nine-year-old has been priced up as the early frontrunner for the 2019 Randox Health Grand National and can be backed at around 20/1 for back-to-back successes in the iconic contest. He is a proven stayer, a course winner and appears to be in rude health. The likes of Vintage Clouds, Native River and Belshill are also prominent in the betting and Betfair’s experts will provide the latest Grand National predictions ahead of the April showpiece. Tiger Roll is likely to be extremely popular in the 40-runner race and his fourth-place finish in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase in November did nothing to dampen that enthusiasm. It was a solid performance for a horse who had been off the track for over seven months.
Source: Kevin Blake via Twitter
Tiger Roll won’t be the only former winner of the contest to make a re-appearance in 2019 with Lucinda Russell’s One for Arthur also likely to take part in this year’s renewal. The nine-year-old was away from the track for twenty months following his against-the-odds triumph but unseated his rider on a recent reappearance in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree. One for Arthur is currently priced at around 33/1 and could provide some clues when taking part in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in mid-January. The ten-year-old could see his Grand National odds shorten if he’s successful at the North West venue.
Gordon Elliott is hoping for another memorable year and Tiger Roll is likely to play a significant part. The nine-year old’s path to the Grand National is still unconfirmed but he’s guaranteed to be match-fit and ready to defend his crown at Aintree in early April