From Triumph Hurdle to National treasure, Tiger did it all

Few horses permeate into the wider sporting world, let alone mainstream news. But dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll achieved that kind of recognition with his Aintree heroics.

Given we waited 45 years from Red Rum’s National double until Tiger Roll came along, it seems unlikely we will see another of his ilk for a good while yet.

We look back on five of the best from the pony-sized chaser with the massive heart:

Grand National, Aintree, 2019

Tiger Roll and Keith Donoghue clear the last in isolation
Tiger Roll and Keith Donoghue clear the last in isolation (Nigel French/PA)

Without a doubt Tiger Roll’s biggest accomplishment was becoming the first horse since Red Rum to win the Grand National in successive years. Running off a handicap mark 9lb higher than 12 months previous, he never looked like being beaten, with Davy Russell able to take a pull while still on the bridle approaching the elbow, and a place in Grand National history was confirmed.

Cross Country Chase, Cheltenham, 2019

Bet £5 Get £20 as a new Tote customer

Tiger Roll on the way to victory under Keith Donoghue
Tiger Roll on the way to victory under Keith Donoghue (Nigel French/PA)

While the unique Cheltenham event does not take as much winning as the National, we perhaps should have envisaged what was to come at Aintree a month later when he obliterated the Festival field by 22 lengths. He looked the class act on paper – but rarely does everything go as easily as this, and Keith Donoghue could have won by further if he had wanted.

Triumph Hurdle, Cheltenham, 2014

Tiger Roll (left) on his way to winning the Triumph Hurdle
Tiger Roll (left) on his way to winning the Triumph Hurdle (Tim Ireland/PA)

Many forget Tiger Roll has been on the go since he was a four-year-old. Some juvenile hurdlers turn out to be one-season wonders, but that could hardly be said of Tiger Roll. Bought by Gigginstown after a winning hurdles bow in Britain, he finished second in a Grade One at Leopardstown before winning the Triumph Hurdle at 10-1.

National Hunt Chase, Cheltenham, 2017

Lisa O’Neill on board Tiger Roll winning the National Hunt Chase
Lisa O’Neill on board Tiger Roll winning the National Hunt Chase (David Davies/PA)

Sent off at 16-1 under Lisa O’Neill on his first run since October, he was coaxed and cajoled around to win easily. No one could have predicted what was to come, but it was a huge step forward and the first time he proved stamina was going to be his forte.

Grand National, Aintree, 2018

Pleasant Company (left) got to within a neck in 2018
Pleasant Company (left) got to within a neck in 2018 (David Davies/PA)

Tiger Roll was sent off a 10-1 chance and after keeping a low profile early on, he cruised into the lead looking as though he was going to be one of the easiest winners in modern history. However, the famous Aintree run-in almost claimed another victim as Pleasant Company was closing with every stride – eventually being beaten a neck.

Other Recent Posts by This Author:

Your first 30 days for just £1
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.