Tiger Roll heads 60 horses still in contention for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
With connections deciding against bidding for an historic third victory in the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday week, Tiger Roll is set to run in either the Irish equivalent on Monday or Aintree’s Betway Bowl three days later.
Eddie O’Leary, racing manager for owners Gigginstown House Stud, said following Wednesday’s forfeit stage for the Irish Grand National: “No decision has been made on where Tiger Roll will run yet. It will either be the Irish National or the Bowl.”
The hugely popular 11-year-old proved he is no back number with a brilliant display in the Glenfarclas Chase on his latest outing – his third victory in the cross-country event, and a remarkable fifth Cheltenham Festival success overall.
If he does line up at Fairyhouse, however, he will have to concede lumps of weight all round.
Gigginstown have a total of 14 possible runners, with O’Leary adding: “Run Wild Fred and Coko Beach would look the main ones.”
Paul Nolan’s stable star Latest Exhibition is also among the confirmations, but still has the option of running in the Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup at Fairyhouse 24 hours earlier.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins, who finally broke his Irish Grand National duck with Burrows Saint when the race was last run in 2019, has six remaining contenders including new recruit Agusta Gold.
Other leading hopes include Joseph O'Brien's Sempo, Peter Fahey's The Big Dog and Escaria Ten – who is trained by Denise Foster as are Tiger Roll, Run Wild Fred and Coko Beach.
The €400,000 contest is supported by three Grade Two events on a quality card.
Noel Meade's Jeff Kidder, winner of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, is one of 10 contenders for the Rathbarry And Glenview Studs Juvenile Hurdle – with the unbeaten Teahupoo among his potential rivals.
The Underwriting Exchange Hurdle appears an intriguing affair with Abacadabras, Beacon Edge and Petit Mouchoir among those in contention.
The third and final Grade Two of the afternoon is the Devenish Chase, for which O'Brien's Fakir D'oudairies sets the standard. The JP McManus-owned six-year-old has finished second in three of his four starts this season, most recently chasing home the hugely impressive Allaho in Cheltenham's Ryanair Chase.