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Tiger Roll out of Grand National due to 'unfair weight'

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Tiger Roll will not bid for a third victory in the Randox Grand National at Aintree next month, owners Gigginstown House Stud have announced.

The Gordon Elliott-trained 11-year-old became the first horse since Red Rum in the 1970s to win back-to-back renewals of the world’s most famous steeplechase when striking gold in 2018 and 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic robbed connections of the chance to emulate Red Rum by claiming a third National success 12 months ago – and owner Michael O’Leary and his brother Eddie have warned on several occasions since that he would not line up in this year’s renewal if they felt he was unfairly treated by the handicapper.

Tiger Roll was given a mark of 166 when the weights were officially unveiled last month and ahead of the latest scratchings stage on Tuesday, Gigginstown confirmed he will not be running at Aintree due to what they feel is a “patently unfair” rating.

A spokesperson for the owners said in a statement: “When Tiger Roll won his second Grand National in April 2019 he ran off a rating of 159. He won by just two and a half lengths at the age of nine, having previously won the Boyne Hurdle in Navan and then won the 2019 Cheltenham cross-country race by 22 lengths.

“Two years later, the horse is now 11 years old. He was beaten by 17 lengths in last year’s Cheltenham cross-country and by 75 lengths in last month’s Boyne Hurdle, so his form over an extended two-year period suggests that he is clearly not as good as he was when he won the National in April 2019.

“Despite this pretty obvious decline, the handicapper has given him a mark of 166, which is 7lb higher than when he won his second Grand National in April 2019. We believe this is patently unfair, unjustified and does not reflect the horse’s age or his form over the past two seasons.

“We made clear that if Tiger Roll was rated ‘in the 150s’ (i.e where he was two years ago), which is what his form and age now warrants, he would be allowed to run in this year’s National and go for a historic three in a row.

“However, the handicapper has decided to rate him on his reputation rather than his form – which we fully accept is his prerogative – but we have a duty of care to Tiger, and so we will not ask him to carry an unfair weight burden, especially as he gets older and his form declines.

“We therefore regret to announce that Tiger Roll will be removed from the Grand National entries at Tuesday’s forfeit stage.

“We hope he will run next as planned in the cross-country race at Cheltenham, where we hope he will enjoy himself and run well. After that, we will consider his future well-being, which may involve retirement if his handicap mark is not adjusted to more fairly reflect his age and form over the past two seasons.

“We all look forward to this year’s Aintree Grand National, which we hope can now proceed without any further speculation over Tiger Roll’s participation.

“We fully respect the handicapper’s right to determine the Grand National weights as he so chooses, but we respectfully believe that he is mistaken in allocating an unfair and unwarranted weight to Tiger Roll.

“In these circumstances, as we previously advised, Tiger Roll will not run.”

Elliott is currently not be permitted to have runners in Britain until the conclusion of an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board investigation into an image on social media that showed him sitting on a dead horse on his gallops.

 
 

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PERTH 14:30

Wednesday 21 April
6. STONER'S CHOICE 161x
Max Kendrick silk Max Kendrick
Fergal O'Brien hot trainer
1. THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE (IRE) 152
A. P. Heskin silk A. P. Heskin
Paul Nicholls hot trainer
2. CASTLE RUSHEN (IRE) 149
Brian Hughes silk Brian Hughes
Nicky Richards
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20:30 SOUTHWELL

1st Ryan Tate silk 9. COMPASS POINT 14/115
2nd Jonathan Fisher silk 3. SOCIOLOGIST (FR) 18/119
3rd David Nolan silk 6. CONTINGENCY FEE 15/28.5
J: Ryan Tate  
All 9 ran.
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20:20 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Faye McManoman silk 2. CAMERILY JOE 9/110
2nd Daniel Tudhope silk nk 10. DON'T TELL DJ (IRE) 13/27.5
3rd Ben Curtis silk hd 7. HARSWELL PRINCESS (IRE) 10/34.33f
J: Faye McManoman (3)  
All 12 ran.
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20:10 TIPPERARY

1st William James Lee silk 11. PINPOINTED (IRE) 10/34.33
2nd L. F. Roche silk 10. MATILDA WITH ME (IRE) 5/16
3rd Shane Foley silk 1 9. SPRING MORNING (IRE) 40/141
4th K. J. Leonard silk ¾ 8. ACARI (IRE) 16/117
16 ran. NRs: 17  18  19 
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20:00 SOUTHWELL

1st David Allan silk 4. BARNEY'S BAY 15/82.87
2nd Tony Hamilton silk 2 5. COOPERATION (IRE) 11/82.37f
J: David Allan  
T: Tim Easterby  
All 7 ran.
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19:50 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Clifford Lee silk 2. STYLISH PERFORMER (IRE) 11/82.37f
2nd Jim Crowley silk ½ 9. MEJTHAAM (IRE) 15/28.5
3rd Shane Kelly silk 1. DESERT GULF 2/13
J: Clifford Lee  
T: K. R. Burke  
All 10 ran.
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19:40 TIPPERARY

1st S. McCullagh silk 1. MORPH SPEED (IRE) 11/43.75f
2nd A. J. Slattery silk 3 4. KEW PALACE 5/16
3rd L. F. Roche silk 16. PRAYING MANTIS (IRE) 14/115
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15 ran. NRs: 17  18  19  8 
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1st Lewis Edmunds silk 1. DARK SIDE PRINCE 7/42.75f
2nd Ryan Tate silk 2. BIG IMPACT 6/17
3rd David Nolan silk 3. BLACKCURRENT 4/15
8 ran. NRs: 8 
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1st Jim Crowley silk 5. MARGUB 11/43.75f
2nd Andrew Breslin silk ¾ 7. GOBI SUNSET 9/25.5
3rd Adam McNamara silk ¾ 3. HARRISON POINT (FR) 14/115
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1st Shane Foley silk 1. HARPOCRATES (IRE) 11/43.75
2nd C. T. Keane silk sh 2. MAKER OF KINGS (IRE) 1/21.5f
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