By HRI Staff — It’s still February, but you can feel the anticipation building for the Aintree Grand National on 4th April. The race is not usually the type to be built around one horse as we might see with someone like Justify or American Pharoah gunning for the Triple Crown. But this year it is very different, and one name is on the lips of punters, casual racing fans and industry pundits – Tiger Roll.
If you don’t know your jumps racing too well, we can give a short history lesson as to why this is such a bid deal. Back in the 1970s, the legendary Red Rum won three Grand Nationals (1973, 1974 and 1977), a record that looked more and more impressive down the years. No horse had won more than one Grand National since, and it seemed conventional wisdom to believe that record would never be emulated. Enter Tiger Roll in 2018 with a narrow victory, and then in 2019 with a more commanding performance.
A remarkable horse who has won the hearts of the public
Tiger Roll – measuring just over 15 hands – doesn’t look the type to handle the gruelling 4-mile chase, nor the treacherous jumps of the Aintree Racecourse. But Tiger Roll has a special engine, as well as that unique ability held by the greatest horses – an innate ability to turn it on when it matters. Aside from being a two-time Grand National winner, Tiger Roll has also won at the Cheltenham Festival four times; that in itself is a remarkable feat equalled by few horses in history.
However, while he is the clear favorite at 5/1 generally, it’s certainly no foregone conclusion that Tiger Roll completes the hat-trick. You can check the latest betting news, as well as free bet offers, here at https://www.freebets.com/horse-racing/grand-national-betting, but we can already see that money is coming in for Burrows Saint, Any Second Now (both 12/1), Kimberlite Candy (16/1) and Potters Corner (20/1, odds from Paddy Power.
Thirty-five other challengers will join the above quartet to Tiger Roll, including Magic of Light (16/1) who finished as runner-up last year. No matter who is in the race, a field of 40 runners always adds uncertainty to the mix, and it’s a lot of extra bodies to potentially hamper the favorite in some manner.
Tiger Roll is perfectly suited to gruelling Aintree course
In saying that, we have seen Tiger Roll deliver the goods time and time again, and he thrives in the spotlight of a big race. The unique threat of the fences at Aintree (some are over 5 feet) means that your selection’s race could be over in an instant regardless of how well they are running. Tiger Roll has never fallen in a race before, however, an astonishing feat for a horse running in his discipline.
Perhaps the main fear for punters is that emotions supplant common sense on the day. The odds of 5/1 are fair, but if the money keeps pouring in for Tiger Roll, they will tighten significantly. 100/1 winners are more common in the Grand National than 2/1 winners, and one should always keep in mind that it’s a bit of a lottery.
Nevertheless, there is a big race feel about this, equivalent to – and perhaps even greater than – a horse going for the final leg in the Triple Crown. It will have British and Irish racing fans glued to their television sets in April, and the only question is whether Tiger Roll can deliver in his date with the history books?