No sooner had the last Grand National ended and bookmakers were already offering odds on the Grand National 2020. Even crazier are the 8/1 ante-post odds that they are currently giving on Tiger Roll. Despite the fact that he might not even run, or the top weight he will most likely be given, those odds are ridiculously low.
Especially as his owner, Michael O’Leary, has stated that he is highly unlikely to go for a third bid. If you watched the build-up coverage on ITV you would have seen the pre-race interview with O’Leary. He was very honest in his assessment of the race. He states that had Anibale Fly been withdrawn and Tiger Roll been lumbered with top weight, he would have taken him out of the race.
The chances are high that the handicapper will pile the weight on in 2020. As a result, connections will have to seriously consider taking him out of contention. Despite the fact that no runner in the race’s 180-year history has won three in a row, O’Leary has made his feelings clear.
“I feel no pressure to go back and try to win a third time,” said O’Leary.
“Tiger Roll isn’t Red Rum – he’s Tiger Roll.”
The main target for Tiger Roll next season would again be the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. And Tiger Roll could be retired if he wins.
O’Leary said: “He has won four times at Cheltenham, and if he were to go back and win five times at Cheltenham – what more do you want from the horse?
“I think at that stage I would mind every precious hair in his body.”
And who can blame him? Yes Tiger Roll is a magnificent chaser but there’s only so much you can ask from a horse. And he has more than delivered on all of his potential. Ante-post odds of 8/1 may seem reasonable given his incredible record around the course but I wouldn’t put my house on it. Chances are he won’t even run in it again.