Tiger Roll may yet be a Grand National winner again this season – because Gordon Elliott’s dual Aintree hero features among the entries for next month’s Irish equivalent.
Tiger Roll cannot bid for an uprecedented hat-trick of victories in the world’s most famous steeplechase at Liverpool this year, after it was announced that the race will not take place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 10-year-old is, however, one of 97 initial contenders for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.
Among those who may take him on are high-class stablemate Delta Work, last year’s winner of the race Burrows Saint and Magic Of Light – second to Tiger Roll at Aintree in 2019.
They are joined by a host of others who might otherwise have been heading to Aintree at the start of next month – including several British hopefuls, despite the fact horses are currently not permitted to travel from overseas to race in Ireland, one of the stringent measures imposed to allow racing to continue in the country during the coronavirus outbreak.
Burrows Saint famously broke multiple champion trainer Willie Mullins’ long-standing duck in the Irish National, and is in line to return – one of 17 possibles from the powerhouse Closutton yard.
Mullins’ great rival Elliott has an even bigger potential team of 24 to choose from, with Delta Work, fifth in last week’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, topping the weights on 11st 10lb, by 2lb from Tiger Roll.
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir winner Milan Native, also representing Elliott and owners Gigginstown House Stud, is already prominent in the sponsors’ betting too.
The highest-rated British entry is Paul Nicholls’ Galway Plate runner-up Black Corton, 2lb above Jessica Harrington’s mare Magic Of Light.
Other notable entries include several for top owner JP McManus – including one-time Aintree hopefuls such as Nicky Henderson’s Ok Corral, Ted Walsh’s Any Second Now and Kimberlite Candy from Tom Lacey’s Herefordshire yard.