Jumps racing fans favourite horse Tiger Roll is back for another season and his trainer Gordon Elliott reports the 10 year old to be flying at home ahead of his seasonal debut, which could see him take a different route to what he has before.
The Irish handler has expressed that he could start the dual Grand National winner off on the flat at Navan on Thursday, giving him a solid run before he takes on the obstacles.
(Credit Racing Post) Elliott said: “Tiger Roll is absolutely bouncing at home and he could start back in a Flat maiden at Navan next week.”
Elliott has also mentioned that the superstar could head to Down Royal in the Group One Ladbrokes Champion Chase, which would look a more sensible approach.
He added: “We had been thinking of starting him back in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal this month, provided the ground wasn't soft, but when we saw this race we said we'd give him an entry and keep all of our options open.
“He was second on the Flat for me at Dundalk a good few seasons back and it's something we've done with plenty of other good jumps horses of ours before.
“Felix Desjy won on the Flat in the summer before he went back jumping. It's better than a racecourse gallop.”
If the five time Cheltenham festival winner does start on the flat then Elliott has expressed his next run we come over hurdles, as it would be silly to take him over fences straight after that event.
Elliott said: “If he does run at Navan, we will probably look for a hurdle race for him somewhere, as he wouldn't do the two [Navan and Down Royal]. It’s not definite that he runs at Navan and he could still go for Down Royal instead. We’ll have a chat and make a decision next week but, like I said, I couldn't be happier with him at home.”
The yard explained that last year did not go to plan with Tiger Roll picking up an injury which impacted how his season played out, only being able to finish a long way second to Easysland in the Cross Country Chase at Prestbury Park.
It may have been a blessing in disguise that the Grand National was cancelled due to Covid for the horse, as he is now reported to be back to his best and has a huge chance of making history by landing a third consecutive Grand National.
Elliott said: “We made no secret about the fact he had a less than ideal prep for Cheltenham and then the ground turned up soft on the day when he was second to a very good horse [Easysland]last season.
“It was going to be a bit of a rush to build him back up for a Grand National and, in hindsight, what happened with the race may have been a blessing in disguise as far as he was concerned. He's a different horse now compared to this time last year and we can't wait to start him back, wherever that may be.”
Speaking about spring targets, Elliott added: “The plan is to go back for the cross-country at Cheltenham and then obviously all of the talk will be about Aintree but we'll be training him for Cheltenham first and foremost. He's in serious form at home and I couldn't be happier with him.”