Tiger Roll 'will be prepared for Grand National hat-trick bid'

London (AFP) –


Tiger Roll will be trained to compete for an unprecedented third successive Grand National win despite the cancellation of this year's race, his trainer Gordon Elliott said on Tuesday.

The National is the centrepiece of the annual three-day meeting at the Aintree course near Liverpool, but this year's April 2-4 schedule was scrapped on Monday due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Red Rum won the Grand National three times in the 1970s but no horse has won the steeplechase three years in a row.

Elliott was upbeat about the 10-year-old Tiger Roll's chances of a return to Aintree in 2021.

"There is every chance of him competing and he hasn't got that many miles on the clock," he told the BBC. "We will be training him back for the Grand National again.

"You're training horses day by day, never mind year by year, so I'll be taking things day by day and there's a lot of water to go under the bridge by then.

"Listen -- all we can do is dream so you never know what might happen."

Tiger Roll, owned by Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary, was beaten into second place by Easysland in the Cross Country Chase at last week's Cheltenham Festival.

British racehorse trainer Nicky Henderson said cancelling the National was the right thing to do given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henderson's house guest from Cheltenham week, Irish trainer Jessica Harrington, whose Magic Of Light finished runner-up to Tiger Roll last year, revealed on Monday she had gone into self-isolation.

"We're in a crisis that our generation has not known before," Henderson told the BBC.

"To lose the Grand National is sad for the industry and sport in general but we all appreciate the situation we're under at the moment."