Talking Horses: Tiger Roll withdrawn from Grand National in handicap row

By: Greg Wood Tuesday 2 March 2021

Owner Michael O’Leary has withdrawn his horse from this year’s Grand National, ending hopes of a hat-trick of Aintree wins

Red Rum’s status as the only horse to win the Grand National three times looks likely to remain unchallenged for many years, and probably decades, after Tiger Roll, the winner of the race in 2018 and 2019, was withdrawn from this year’s field, seemingly because Michael O’Leary, his owner, believes his handicap mark is “patently unfair”.

Tiger Roll became the first horse to win the National twice since Red Rum in 1974 when he came home in front two seasons ago, but has failed to register a victory in five starts since then off a handicap mark of 159. Martin Greenwood, the British Horseracing Authority’s senior chase handicapper, raised his mark to 166 for this year’s race, which seemed reasonable to many form students given the 11-year-old’s remarkable record in the face of the unique Aintree challenge and the relative ease of his victory in 2019.

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