Tiger Roll made it an incredible five Cheltenham Festival wins when he took the Cross Country Chase for the third time at Cheltenham on Wednesday afternoon.
The result was in little doubt from as much as ten fences from home. Keith Donoghue was using his energy to try keep the brakes on.
🐅 The Tiger roars again
🏆🏆🏆 Glenfarclas Chase
🏆🏆 Grand National
🏆 Triumph Hurdle
🏆 National Hunt Chase
Tiger Roll is a five-time #CheltenhamFestival winner under @donoghue_keith & Denise Foster pic.twitter.com/fHIcETmeFJ
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 17, 2021
The jockey had little choice but to take up the running over a mile and a half out and then Tiger Roll did what he has so often done before and powered home.
The dual Grand National winner was nimble at his fences throughout, making ground at every obstacle. Warm order favourite Easysland was dropped in rear throughout and looked to be making ominous progress five from home.
But the result from 2020 was reversed as Tiger Roll bounced off the better ground and Easysland could do little in response, with the better ground in the winner's favourite.
The jockey was emotional post-race after what has been an incredibly trying time for the team at Cullentra House following the suspension of trainer Gordon Elliott.
Tiger Roll jockey 'Speechless'
The enormity of the occasion was clear in the aftermath with jockey Keith Donoghue clearly emotional.
"I'm speechless. it means everything to me," he told Matt Chapman on ITV. "If it wasn't for this horse I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't be a jockey."
"A lot of people underestimated him, but we never lost faith."
Gigginstown House manager Eddie O'Leary credited the better going with the horse's improved form, his first victory since the 2019 Grand National.
Tiger Roll will not run at Aintree but may head closer to home next in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
Whatever Tiger Roll does next or not, he is already an equine superstar. Three Cross Country wins among his five festival victories and a dual Aintree Grand National winner.
He is the horse of a lifetime, it is little wonder Keith Donoghue was lost for words.
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