Tiger Roll is going to be one of the shortest-price favourites for the Grand National at Aintree in memory.
Gordon Elliott’s pint-sized superstar will have no shortage of supporters in his bid to become the first back-to-back winner since Red Rum 45 years ago. He’s a terrific animal and good luck to him in his date with destiny, but at 4/1 he’s rather short in the betting.
Here are three at bigger prices to take him on in Saturday’s Aintree marathon.
Nigel Twiston-Davies landed two wins in this famous race in just five years around the turn of the century, as Earth Summit and Bindaree scored, and the Naunton handler has reasonable claims as he saddles Ballyoptic and Go Conquer now.
Son Sam Twiston-Davies takes the mount on the latter and he looks sure to appreciate this flat track. He is a sound jumper and has developed into a consistent chaser since finishing well beaten in the Topham Chase here in 2017 – a race in which he suffered interference at the Canal Turn and lost his chance.
He was a comfortable Listed winner at Doncaster in January and, despite going up 6lb for that, comes here on a workable mark. Like many in the field, he’ll need to prove his stamina, but if he does he can be player.
David Pipe’s youngster has age against – being only seven years old – but his campaign to date has seen him learning plenty.
He was second in the stamina-sapping Welsh National at Christmas behind Elegant Escape and once more filled the runner-up berth in the Haydock Trial for this race in February.
Those are two rock-solid staying efforts and the latest of them suggests he has 5lb up his sleeve on the official ratings.
Such has been his rate of progress that the team at Pond House find themselves here for this race a year earlier than they might have expected.
Having won the last two renewals of the Topham Chase over the National fences on the Friday of this meeting, Colin Tizzard’s Ultragold now goes in the main event.
He’s never finished outside the front three in his four starts over these famous obstacles and looks a big price in the betting.
He’ll have to prove himself over the 4m2f journey although he’ll be joining a vast percentage of the field in that regard – and few can boast his figures on the track.
He finished third in the Becher Chase here in December and can be easily forgiven a poor run in last month’s Cheltenham Cross Country behind Tiger Roll as that unique discipline isn’t for everyone.