The eagerly anticipated Grand National 2020 weights were revealed at a special luncheon at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall on Tuesday afternoon and there were no surprises when it came to announcing the top weights.
Tiger Roll and stablemate Delta Work, have both been allotted top weight of 11st 10lb for the 2020 renewal of the great race at Aintree on Saturday, 4th April.
With a prize fund of £1 million, the 173rd running of the Grand National is once again a hotly contested affair and the 103 remaining entries have all now been assessed and given a mark by the Official BHA Handicapper, Martin Greenwood. Sizing John and Yorkhill are already ruled out.
Tiger Roll, who is trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, could emulate the legendary Red Rum as a three-time winner of the Grand National but his owners say he now only “50-50” to take his place in the 2020 Grand National.
Essential listening! Gigginstown’s own Eddie O’Leary gives @boyciesbetting his reaction to the news that Tiger Roll will carry top weight in the Grand National should he run… pic.twitter.com/IWrJ0qCMHu
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) February 11, 2020
Eddie O’Leary, racing manager for the Stud said: “The handicapper has his job to do and he’s done it.
“We wanted more (compression in the handicap). The decision is now in our hands whether we run or not. Tiger is invaluable to us and we have to look after him.
“He was definitely going to be entered in the Betway Bowl and probably the Punchestown Gold Cup.
“Hopefully he comes through the Navan test, he’s coming back after a setback – he won’t win, obviously, but if just pulls up with a smile on his face that will do us and then go on to Cheltenham and hopefully show us more there.
“Then we’ll decide, but at the moment it’s 50-50. The Betway Bowl is definitely coming into calculations now.”
Delta Work, who is also trained by Gordon Elliott for Gigginstown, is one the leading contenders for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, following his victory in the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown on February 2nd.
Eleven horses have been given 11st or more. They include multiple Grade One winner Bristol de Mai (11st 8lb) who is trained by the dual Grand National-winning handler Nigel Twiston-Davies, the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Native River (11st 6lb) and the J P McManus-owned Anibale Fly (11st 2lb), fourth in 2018 and fifth in 2019.
The other runners in this bracket are Chris’s Dream (11st 0lbs), Beware The Bear (11st 0lbs), Top Ville Ben (11st 2lb), Elegant Escape (11st 2lb), Cadmium (11st 2lb) and Aso (11st 2lb).
Other significant weights include last year’s runner-up, the mare Magic Of Light, who has been handed 10st 12lb. The last mare to win the race was Nickel Coin in 1951 so her trainer Jessica Harrington has quite a formidable task on her hands to break that hoodoo.
Last year’s fourth, Walk In The Mill (10st 4lb), fared the best of any British-trained runners in 2019 and his love affair with the famous National fences continued back in December when he took the Becher Handicap Chase for the second successive year.
This year’s Welsh Grand National victor Potters Corner has been given 10st 6lbs and horses from the Chepstow feature often go on to perform well at Aintree.
🚨 BREAKING: Christian Williams shares his thoughts on Welsh National winner Potters Corner, who will carry 10st 6lb in this years Grand National pic.twitter.com/09kJdL3C8F
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) February 11, 2020
His trainer Christian Williams said: “Potters Corner backs up his runs quite well so we will keep the same pattern.
“Before he won the Welsh National, he had run three weeks beforehand so he doesn’t need a big gap between his races.
“Looking at the weights and the entries, he doesn’t however necessarily have to go to France and we’ll see nearer the time.”