It's a Guy Thing

Tiger Roll primed for bid to win historic Grand National treble

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Despite concerns regarding form and fitness in recent months, Tiger Roll is the headline name on the list of 106 initial entries for the 2021 Randox Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. Tiger Roll, who captured the hearts of the British public by winning back-to-back Grand Nationals in 2018 and 2019, looks set to return one final time this year in a bold bid to become the first horse ever to win three successive Grand Nationals.

Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott, has made many horse racing fans very wealthy in the last two Grand Nationals, winning in 2018 at a starting price of 10/1 and again a year later at a shorter starting price of 4/1. It begs the question as to what his odds are likely to be in this year’s race on April 10. One of the best starting points for the latest Grand National odds is Oddschecker. They aggregate all the best available odds online for the biggest horse racing meetings, including the Grand National, to help you find the best value for your chosen horse.

What is the ante-post market saying for the 2021 Grand National?

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It’s all about the ante-post betting market at present for the 2021 Grand National. An ante-post market is a longer-term market which allows bettors to wager on the outcome of big races like the National weeks or even months before the event – and catch the biggest odds too. The odds are typically higher in an ante-post market – even on horses like Tiger Roll – because of the variables that could occur and prevent a horse from running, including withdrawal by their trainer or injury. In that event, bets are deemed as losing bets rather than voided bets, which underlines the additional risk of an ante-post bet.

At the time of writing, Tiger Roll is available in the Grand National 2021 ante-post market at a best price of 20/1. This still makes him the pre-race favourite to make it a hat-trick of Nationals and surpass the likes of Red Rum as the most successful horse in Grand National history.

Nevertheless, the reason his price is considerably higher in the ante-post market is that there are plenty of pitfalls ahead for Tiger Roll and trainer, Gordon Elliott, before April 10. Although Tiger Roll is an initial entrant for the 2021 Grand National, his destiny depends on improved form in his upcoming races. First and foremost, he is likely to be entered into Navan’s Boyne Hurdle in late February. He won this race at a canter two years ago, prior to winning his second Grand National. Providing all goes well at Navan, Elliott is likely to enter Tiger Roll into his favoured Cross-Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, a race he’s won four times in his career so far.

The racing world has everything crossed for Tiger Roll at Navan and Cheltenham

The fly in the ointment? Tiger Roll’s less-than-impressive recent performances late last year. He was worryingly pulled up just after halfway in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, having been sent off as 4/1 second favourite. His jockey on the day, Robbie Power, admitted Tiger Roll “was never travelling” and wasn’t in any “sort of rhythm”. The biggest concern post-race was the rumour coming out of Tiger Roll’s stable, the Gigginstown House Stud. Racing manager, Eddie O’Leary, warned that his stuttering performance at Cheltenham last November was a sign that “age [is] catching up with him a little bit”.

O’Leary also had a word of warning for the handicappers, insisting that Tiger Roll’s possible decline should be factored into a “readjusted” rating which has “always been crazy” and another reason why many are in awe of the way Tiger Roll has defied the handicappers and weights to win back-to-back around Aintree.

It’s frankly heart-breaking that Tiger Roll missed out on the chance of going for a hat-trick of Nationals last year, when he could have been in better physical shape to make a bold bid. If his upcoming performances at Navan and Cheltenham prove to be the final races of Tiger Roll’s career and his owners rule him out of the 2021 National, we’ll all be left wondering about what might have been the greatest success story in modern-day National Hunt racing.