ordon Elliott says it will be “disappointing” if Tiger Roll is not allowed to bid for an historic third Grand National at Aintree, but says the decision will lie with his owner Michael O’Leary after the weights for the race were revealed on Tuesday.
The 11-year-old, denied the chance to win a third successive National when Covid forced the cancellation of last year’s race, has been allocated 11st 9lb, just one pound below top weight.
It has been well documented that O’Leary and his brother Eddie felt he needed plenty of help from handicapper Martin Greenwood for him to stand any chance of winning the race again, warning he would not run if he was rated “in the 160s or 170s”.
Tiger Roll won in 2018 from a mark of 150 and defied a 9lb rise 12 months later. This year he is off 166, despite pulling up on his last appearance at Cheltenham in November.
“He has got 166 and he won off 159 two years ago when the race was last run. He seems in good form at home and we are looking forward to the race,” said Elliott.
“You are always hoping you are going to be a couple of pounds less than what you have been given, but to be honest we will just smile and take it.
“I have to concentrate on training the horse and I just hope his owner lets the horse run in the race for the public. Everyone will be looking forward to seeing the horse run again in the Grand National, but Michael will make that decision.
“It will be disappointing for everyone if he doesn’t turn up, but as you know he makes the decisions. He is 7lb higher than what he won off before, but it is probably fair enough.
“If you look at him he is not the biggest horse in the world, but he really seems to enjoy those fences.”
When contacted on Tuesday, Eddie O’Leary said: “We’ve said all we’re going to say on the matter and will be offering no further comment.”
Three horses are weighted 1lb higher than Tiger Roll – Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Bristol De Mai, Tiger Roll’s Cheltenham conqueror Easysland and Gold Cup runner-up Santini.
Magic Of Light, second to Tiger Roll two years ago, has 10st 13lb, Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap has been given 10st 5lb while Welsh National winner Secret Reprieve needs a little bit of luck to secure a place as he is on 10st 1lb.
Additional reporting by PA.
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