Retirement talk from Tiger Roll camp as dual Grand National hero flops at Cheltenham
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Retirement could beckon for the legendary Tiger Roll after his Cheltenham flop.
After being pulled up 12 fences from home in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, the dual Grand National winner’s trainer Gordon Elliott said “we’ve all got to have a talk and see what we do.”
“Maybe his better days are behind him,” he added after Robbie Power called it a day on the chasing legend.
“We’ll see how he is, but on his last two runs he doesn't look like the horse he was last year.
“He never really travelled, never looked happy and you couldn’t blame the ground. We were happy with the horse at home.
“He’s not getting any younger and he’s had a hard couple of seasons, so, look, we’ve all got to have a talk and see what we do.”
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Power, partnering Tiger Roll for the first time, said: “He was never travelling and he never had a cut at any of his fences.
"I pulled him up as he was in no sort of rhythm.”
Elliott added: “He was in good form at home but never travelled a yard. Look, obviously, the dream would be to go back and win another Grand National.”
Tiger Roll was on course to make history by becoming the only horse to win three consecutive Grand Nationals before coronavirus wiped out last season’s race.
Tiger Roll ridden by jockey Davy Russell (centre) on the way to winning the 2019 Randox Health Grand National
After his latest performance the remarkable little chaser's career could be over.
This was backed up by Eddie O’Leary, brother of the gelding’s owner Michael, who said: “Obviously, if he ran that bad again, we’d have to pull up stumps.
“I hope the horse is OK, obviously it was disappointing.
"I would say age could be catching up with him.”
Kingswell Theatre clears the 'cheese wedges' on his way to victory
It was not only Tiger Roll who disappointed as victory appeared a formality for French challenger Easysland, the 8-11 favourite.
He made several mistakes on the way round and could only finish fourth behind shock winner Kingswell Theatre.
Jason Kiely, representing Easysland’s trainer David Cottin, said: “With the weight, it was quite hard.”
Punters were earlier on the money when Protektorat, sent off the 6-5 favourite, jumped his rivals ragged when taking the SSS Novice Chase for the Skelton brothers.