TIGER ROLL heads the 106 entries for the Randox Grand National on April 10 but he is not a certain starter. His owner Michael O’Leary has indicated that he could instead run in the Irish National – especially if he is given too much weight to carry by the Aintree handicapper Martin Greenwood.
The weights for the famous race in the world are published on February 16 and they will largely dictate if 11-year-old Tiger Roll will bid to emulate Red Rum and win his third Grand National.
This year’s race will be the 173rd Grand National and it will be staged over four miles, two furlongs, 74 yards and over 30 fences.
Tiger Roll’s trainer Gordon Elliott is the most successful current trainer in the Grand National and one more victory would see him join Fred Rimell and Ginger McCain as the most successful National handler of all time. Elliott has 16 entries in total and they include five-time Grade One winner Delta Work.
Owner Trevor Hemmings also has three National victories to his name – Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015). His three entries in 2021 include Ladbrokes Trophy hero Cloth Cap as well as Lake View Lad (Nick Alexander).
Of the 106 entries, 43 are trained in Ireland and two in France. The Grand National has gone to Ireland on 27 occasions, most recently Tiger Roll in 2019. Th Irish-trained entries include Magic Of Light, runner-up in 2019, Anibale Fly, who was fourth in 2018 and fifth in 2019, and 2019 Irish Grand National victor Burrows Saint.
Tiger Roll is generally the 16-1 ante-post favourite for the big race but punters should be warned that he may not run. They should check out ante-post betting on bet-grand-national.co.uk when considering when and where to place their money.
Both French-trained entries hail from the yard of David Cottin and are headed by Easysland, who defeated Tiger Roll in the 2020 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham.
The Grand National is the one big race to have eluded six-time champion trainer Nicky Henderson, although the master of Seven Barrows has twice saddled the runner-up courtesy of Zongalero (1979) and The Tsarevich (1987). Henderson’s six entries this year are headed by 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup second Santini and also include OK Corral, a lightly-raced 11-year-old who has not been seen out since winning the Listed Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster just over a year ago.