What should be next for the Tiger?

178A08B2-47C9-4674-9DE9-C5B39D5F5B79
📷 @Lowy121

By Samantha

This Saturday was the Grand National and it was one that will live in the memory for many years to come.
The Gigginstown owned Tiger Roll became something of a household name in the lead up to this renewal after winning this last year and his SP reflected this. He went off at four to one, which, based off his last two performances when winning hurdle race and the cross country chase at Cheltenham, was understandable. Davy Russell took over the reins from Keith Donoghue for this race to partner the Gordon Elliot trained gelding like last year. His jumping wasn’t as good as then but, at the last, his win was in the bag. He cruised up to the line, ears pricked, to his second win.
It was incredible. It would’ve been awesome to be there and witness it in person but it was still brilliant watching it from the sofa. You could hear the emotion from connections about this little super star. He was bought for very little with the idea of being a flat horse in mind as he is out of a dual flat winning mare and half-sibling to a group two winner. It is a truly remarkable story. As a young racing fan, I’d heard the legend of Red Rum and his three victories so it was great to know what it was like to witness such a special horse and I think Tiger really is a special horse. The nation loves him!
Tiger Roll was on the front of most newspapers with the question – “Could he do a ‘Red Rum’?” before the race and now he has so why not go for another one? Michael O’Leary said on ITV after the race that it wasn’t likely to be running next year as he will be carrying too much weight. His new mark is 172 after that victory, which would’ve earned him top weight by far this season. With that rating, he would’ve had the second highest rating of any runner in this year’s Gold Cup (behind Bristol De Mai, Clan Des Obeaux and Native River who were rated 173). This just shows the calibre of horse connections are dealing with.
We have to remember that he is only nine so we could be enjoying watching him run for another two / three years and, in that time, the possibilities are pretty much endless. With this new mark, connections could go and try and do the ‘Jump Racing Triple Crown’ and, theoretically, do well. Or, they could follow a similar path as last year because it obviously works but then the weight is a problem. He won a Grade Two Hurdle a few months ago so they could follow a Stayers Hurdle plan to try and preserve the mark as up until this year and the dominance of Paisley Park, it’s been an open division lately. He has so many opportunities.
As an industry, the racing world is a controversial one and lots of people think of it as ‘cruel’ and ‘abusive’, take all the PETA activists for example. I’m not going to waste my time and breath talking about them. Some folk just don’t want to change their minds and we have to accept that. Instead, we should focus on how incredible this sport actually is and how good the new changes are.

 

Up For Review (RIP) sadly lost his life at the first after being brought down and for the first time in my life I got to school on the Monday after with people coming up to me raving about how awesome Tiger was and not a single thing about how horrible racing is. Last year, when Saint Are was hurt, I was personally insulted for following racing. For me, this is a huge win. I am a passionate believer that getting more young people watching and interested in racing is the future of the sport and Tiger has done just that.
In my opinion, racing NEEDS Tiger Roll to go for another Grand National and try and replicate Red Rum’s heroics of the 1970s. That horse won his second National off 12st and Tiger has been likened to the legendary horse all week so why not prove his name really should be mentioned in the same breath as the three times Grand National winner?

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