Dual Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll won't run in this year's race after his owners Gigginstown hit out at the "unfair weight" allocated to him.
The O'Leary family confirmed this morning that the 10-year-old will be removed from the world's most famous steeplechase at today's forfeit stage due to an "unfair weight burden".
Tiger Roll won the National in 2018 and 2019 and was denied to chance to go for three in-a-row when last year's renewal was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Gordon Elliott-trained gelding failed to fire in last month's Boyne Hurdle at Navan and Michael O'Leary is unhappy that he's been allocated seven more pounds by the handicapper than his run at Aintree in 2019.
Breaking: Tiger Roll withdrawn from Grand National by Gigginstown over "unfair weight" pic.twitter.com/V4sjIF6nXm
— Laura Scott (@LauraScott__) March 2, 2021
“We made clear that if Tiger Roll was rated ‘in the 150s’ (i.e where he was two years ago) which is what his form and age now warrants, he would be allowed to run this year’s National and go for a historic ‘three in a row’," Gigginstown announced in a statement.
“However, the handicapper has decided to rate him on his reputation rather than his form – which we fully accept is his prerogative – but we have a duty of care to Tiger, and so we will not ask him to carry an unfair weight burden especially as he gets older and his form declines.
“We therefore regret to announce that Tiger Roll will be removed from the Grand National entries at Tuesday’s forfeit stage.”
Gigginstown added that they hope to run Tiger Roll in the Cross Country at Cheltenham before then making a decision on "his future wellbeing".
Aintree's clerk of the course Sulekha Varma says it's disappointing that Tiger Roll won't be going for a third successive win.
“It is a shame. It would have been fantastic to see the horse go and attempt to win the race three times. I think we may never get the chance again in our lifetimes, but he’s been a fabulous horse.
“I’m sorry we won’t see him at Aintree this year, but it’s for the owners and trainers to do what they feel is right for the horse.”
Varma feels the Grand National will still offer plenty of excitement, despite Tiger Roll’s absence.
“There are so many other stories. It has great horses and it’s fantastic we’re going to actually run the race this year, having lost it last year. That’s hugely exciting."
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