Will Tiger Roll Be The Shortest-Price Favourite In The History Of The National?

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Will Tiger Roll Be The Shortest-Price Favourite In The History Of The National?

The diminutive Tiger Roll could be on the verge of adding his name to the sporting elite, as he will look to rewrite the history books once again if managing to secure a second Grand National success in just over two weeks time.

Despite being a 9yo now, Tiger Roll just seems to be getting better and better for Gigginstown House Stud, after his second near twenty-five length success in the Glenfarcas Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last week.

Proving a class apart under Keith Donoghue, his Cheltenham preparation was ran in a 2m4f hurdle contest at Navan, where he was incredibly sent off a 25/1 outsider.

Is there anything this horse can't do?

Bookmakers as a whole have predicted a victory for Tiger Roll on April 6 would be their worst in the history of the race, due to how well backed he has been since his fourth Festival triumph seven days ago.

They were also given no confidence by Martin Greenwood - the BHA's Senior Handicapper, who described last year's Aintree hero as being "8lb well in".

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes, who have him priced at 4/1 currently, said: "Tiger Roll fever has hit punters as he looks to follow in the footsteps of Red Rum.

Red Rum
Red Rum

"He has made the day for punters time and time again and if he completes the Grand National double we believe it will be the worst result in the history of the race for bookmakers."

The world famous Red Rum is the most successful horse in the race's history, winning the Grand National three times: in 1973, 1974 and 1977, and Tiger Roll would be seeking to join a list of just four horses who have managed to win it back-to-back.

Abd-El-Kader was the first horse to do so in 1850 and 1851. The Colonel, (1869 & 1870), Reynoldstown (1935 & 1936) and of course Red Rum (1973 & 1974) have also retained the crown.

Tiger Roll's price is forever shortening, with a possibility he could even make history before the race has even started, but will he be the shortest-price favourite in the history of the world's greatest steeplechase?

The way things are going, you would hate to argue against it.

McGeady again said on Wednesday: "After winning the Grand National last year, Tiger Roll was installed at 16/1 to do the double. He was cut to 12/1 after winning the Boyne Hurdle and then 6-1 after the cross-country at Cheltenham last week.

"Today he was still being backed at 5/1 so we’ve had to take action and slash his price further to 4-1.

"No price seems too short for what could be the shortest-priced favourite in Grand National history," she finished.

Coral have taken a similar course of action, and spokesman Dave Stevens said: "Although National day is the most unique day of the year when the general public comes out to bet, it's not impossible that Tiger Roll could threaten the favourites' record."

The record he speaks of is for the shortest-priced winning favourite in the history of the race, which is still carried by Poethlyn at 11/4, coincidentally exactly one hundred years ago in 1919.

Tiger Roll would need some further considerable backing to fall to that sort of price, but it looks as though by the day it is being done.

tiger roll
Tiger Roll

Many professionals in the game are suggesting the natural drift for Tiger Roll on the day will still occur; whereby bookies will try and enhance the odds to take each other on.

However at this stage, they dare not to take the gamble.

In more recent years, Hedgehunter and Clan Royal started 5/1 joint-favourites in 2006 - Hedgehunter who won the race in 2005.

Both ran creditable races but Numbersixvalverde - trained by Martin Brassil, who landed the Ballymore last week with City Island, had their measure from the last.

Seabass, sent off 11/2 favourite in 2013, was attempting to go two places better than when third to Neptune Collonges the previous year. He finished a tired 13th after holding every chance three out.

Shutthefrontdoor, the mount of AP McCoy in the colours of JP McManus, looked like justifying 6/1 favouritism for a long way in 2015, but weakened after the last to finish fifth behind Many Clouds.

Many horses have tried and failed to win the race twice or indeed back-to-back, but many have failed due to the mountain of a task on their hands and with the need for luck on the day.

Tiger Roll could be the first horse to do so in 45 years, and holds every chance if making it over the thirty unique fences on Merseyside.

He really does look a natural, as though the race was built for him. If you want to back Tiger Roll for the National, the time is now.

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