Grand National winner Tiger Roll ready to rock at Cheltenham
Nicky Henderson decides to skip the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham with Altior
Davy Russell rides Tiger Roll to win the English Grand National from Pleasant Company and David Mullins at Aintree. Photograph: Getty Images
Grand National hero Tiger Roll is all set to reappear in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham on Friday.
Gordon Elliott’s Gigginstown House Stud-owned eight-year-old, who is also a three-time Cheltenham Festival winner, wrote his name into the history books at Aintree in April.
Having sprung back to life last spring, he will find life tougher off top weight back at Prestbury Park.
“That’s the plan. We will keep him in cross-country races the whole year up to the Grand National,” said Elliott. “I think the Grand National will be a big ask, as he is not the biggest horse in the world and he is going to have an awful lot of weight in the National. If you are not in it, you can’t win, and he proved he liked the track. If we get there we would be delighted.”
He went on: “When we bought him I never expected to him to do what he has. He has been an amazing little horse and is a favourite at home. If I can get him back to Cheltenham and win four times that would be special for me.”
Elliott also had news of Samcro, who was surprisingly beaten on his first outing of the season at Down Royal but remains on target for the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday.
He said: “He is in good form and is going to work tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. All being well he runs on Sunday. I’m not sure who rides him and it will be a last-minute decision, as Jack Kennedy who rides him is suspended.”
Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson has decided to skip the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday with Altior. The champion chaser will instead wait to make his seasonal reappearance in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on December 8th.
Henderson said: “He’s in terrific form and working very well, but three weeks before it I don’t really need a race.”
Henderson will instead rely on Brain Power, who was last seen falling in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree, having finished second in the Arkle to Footpad.
The Seven Barrows handler said: “Brain Power works with him – he’s probably the only horse that could, they do everything together. He’s in very good form. In his own right, he’s a very good horse.
“I do think he’s in particularly good form, so he’ll do Cheltenham and Altior will wait for the Tingle Creek. Altior is ready to run, I could run him, but I just think it’s a long way ahead of us and he’ll be fresh and well for the Tingle Creek.”
Frodon has been left at the head of 28 remaining possibles for the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.
Thistlecrack has been taken out by Colin Tizzard, meaning the weights have gone up by 4lb. Tizzard could still be represented by Sizing Granite and West Approach.
That leaves Nicky Henderson’s Rather Be on exactly 11st, and he will meet his Festival conqueror Mister Whitaker on 9lb better terms.
Frodon could be joined by Paul Nicholls-trained stablemates Le Prezien, Romain De Senam and Movewiththetimes. Aso and Top Gamble are towards the head of the weights, also.
Last year’s winner Splash Of Ginge, the Gary Moore pair of Benetar and Baron Alco, Neil Mulholland’s Kalondra and Nicky Richards’ Caspian Caviar Gold Cup winner Guitar Pete are others to note.
The sole Irish possible is Eric McNamara’s Black Scorpion.