“Our thinking is let’s run him in the Bowl and let the handicapper see.”
Tiger Roll will return to Aintree – where he has won the last two Grand Nationals – but he will not be taking his place in Britain’s biggest race of the year.
The Gigginstown-owned horse would have been going for a record equalling three Grand-Nationals – after Red Rum did it in 1973, 1974 and 1977 – but the owners have instead opted to send him to the Aintree Bowl due to an “unfair weight” given to the horse by the British handicapper.
Tiger Roll was pulled out of the Grand National after a long battle between Michael and Eddie O’Leary and the handicapper regarding the weight the five-time Cheltenham Festival winner was allocated for the race.
Instead, he will now line up in the Aintree Bowl off level weights where he is expected to come up against Grade 1 performers like Native River (2018 Gold Cup winner) and Clan Des Obeaux (2018 and 2019 King George winner).
Tiger Roll is currently priced 4/1 third-favourite behind the two fore-mentioned horses.
Tiger Roll was also entered in the Irish Grand National – which takes place on Easter Monday – but racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud Eddie O’Leary explained why the two-time Aintree Grand National winner will now line up in the Aintree Bowl.
“He’s come out of Cheltenham great,” O’Leary told the Racing Post.
“Red Rum won his third Grand National when he was 12, after he was dropped seven pounds, but I suppose Tiger will have to wait until he’s 17 to try and win his third by the way the English handicapper is carrying on.
“The handicapper is totally wrong and he has lost Tiger Roll and Easysland from the Grand National. This isn’t just about Tiger Roll anymore.
“His weight at Fairyhouse had no bearing on this decision. Our thinking is let’s run him in the Bowl and let the handicapper see.
“Keith (Donoghue) tends to only ride him in the cross country, so I would imagine Jack Kennedy will be riding him – but we haven’t confirmed that yet.
“Mind you, the Bowl doesn’t look a very good race this year and it’s likely to be a very small field.”
Even if Tiger Roll was to go on and win the Aintree Bowl and win a Grade 1, O’Leary maintains there will be “no humble pie”.
“There is no humble pie, he is rated completely wrong,” O’Leary added.
“Okay, if he wins it, we will say we are wrong but we have no regrets.”