Above: Photo by TPH Intern Vyla Carter
The Gordon Elliott trained Tiger Roll not only won the Grand National at the weekend, but he also completed a famous double as he won at the Cheltenham Festival, and then the Grand National. Not many have done that, but the horse is clearly in the form of his life and trainer Elliott deserves a lot of praise for what he has done with this horse.
Sent off as the 10/1 second favorite, confidence was high that Tiger Roll could complete the double. He was favorite for the race at one point, but the heavy ground looked to be against him and that may have stopped some people from backing him for success. The ground clearly didn’t bother him though, and despite tiring at the end, Tiger Roll won a thrilling 2018 edition of the Grand National.
One thing that many people have got excited about straight after the race is that Tiger Roll is just an eight-year-old, meaning he is certainly young enough to come back next year and try to defend his crown while he is still in his peak. Bonus betting is popular with punters looking to back the horse for back-to-back wins, with it being a near unprecedented occurrence. He would certainly not be too old to come back and defend his crown, and something else in his favor is that the race takes place in the British springtime, when he seems to come to life and run at his best.
Elsewhere the best news to come out of the National was that all 38 runners and riders came home safe and sound. The race has recently done all it can to improve the safety aspect, making sure to look after those that bravely take part. While only 12 runners managed to finish the race, those that were unable to finish are all reportedly fine after their efforts. This news is fantastic and, hopefully, a sign of things to come for the race, which has in the past received some criticism for the test that it offers to horses and riders.
The favorite for the race Total Recall was very well backed on the day but was unable to finish, eventually pulling up before the end. While that will be disappointing for those who backed Total Recall, at least they were given a run for their money. The same cannot be said for those that backed another one of the fancied runners Blacklion. That horse was brought down by another runner at the very first fence, so those who thought he could go better than his 4th placed finish last season never really got the chance to see if that was possible.
The success story of the race though has to be about the winner Tiger Roll, who completed a Cheltenham Festival and Grand National double, and looks highly likely to be back for the same again next season.