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"This is for the housewife and the taxi driver!" Davy Russell on history-maker Tiger Roll

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

01:47 7 Apr 2019



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Twice Grand National winning jockey Davy Russell joined Off The Ball for an emotional interview about his history-making ride on Tiger Roll, his parents' help in his career, and the future of a horse that has equalled the great Red Rum.

Davy joined Joe Molloy from Fairyhouse Racecourse, after a whirlwind twenty-four hours that saw him ride Tiger Roll to a successive Grand National victory on the Gordon Elliott-trained thoroughbred.

He was in contemplative mood - opening up about how he fancied his charge to win the 2019 title straight after last year's race.

"I'll be honest with you - when I pulled up after the race last year, the first thing in my head was: 'This lad could win another one if he got back.'

"I said to Gordon and he was the only person that I said it to. He was so impressive all year. I hadn't sat on him, but we schooled him during the week and he was really ringing the bells.

"It all came together. He's just an unbelievable horse and an unbelievable athlete - to say that he has a personality is an understatement. I understand that he is an animal, but Tiger Roll really is a little bit more than that. He is a remarkable horse."

Davy opened up on what it is that he feels separates Tiger Roll's personality from other horses, citing an incident before the race that augured well for both horse and jockey.

"He likes his own space - and if he is happy enough to do something then he will do it, but if he's not then he just won't bother! I went to take a picture with him this morning and he just didn't want to take a picture with me.

"Yesterday, Louise and Karen [Tiger Roll's handlers] were walking him to the start. The commentators were going through the horses in front of him, and when they came to him and mentioned his name, he actually understood his own name being read out over the loudspeaker. He perked up, and then went back to normal when they went on to the next horse!

"They are usually are a bit bothered by other things, but he takes it all in, enjoys it and the bigger the occasion the more he likes it.  He grows a hand on the bigger day and the more excitement - the more people shout for him from the crows, the more he enjoys it - other horses could melt."

"I felt a shocking amount of pressure this year because of the horse that it was. So much can go wrong in a Grand National.

"I felt a lot of pressure that way, that perhaps a guy that was going to have his one and only bet in race was going to have it on Tiger Roll. Bookies were playing it as being the biggest loss that they'll ever have in a Grand National.

"This year is one for the housewife, and the taxi driver and anybody that got up yesterday morning to pick a horse were picking Tiger Roll because everybody felt that he was going to win it. Everybody was feeling that he was going to win it."

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