Michael O’Leary’s long-running gripe with the Grand National handicapper resulted in Tiger Roll being denied the opportunity to equal Red Rum’s record of three wins – for the second year in succession.
Tiger Roll was allotted 11st 4lbs (a rating of 161) for the 174th National when the weights were announced at the Rum Warehouse in Liverpool to great fanfare. That was down 5lbs from last year, when O’Leary also took him out, but still 2lbs more than he carried when he last won it.
“He won’t run,” confirmed Eddie O’Leary, Michael’s O’Leary’s brother and racing manager. “It’s not his weight, it’s his rating… Either the handicapper does his job or he does no job. How many horses have we ever complained about? One. We look after the horses.”
Connections instead aimed the Gordon Elliott-trained horse at Cheltenham’s Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase and the Tiger has been retired after a gallant second-placed finish to stablemate Delta Work.
Few horses will line up for this year’s Grand National with the back story of Charlie Longsdon’s Snow Leopardess. Were she to win she would not only be the first grey mare to triumph in the race but the first to have already had a foal which she did when she was off injured for two years.
Already a winner over the fences, she went up 1lbs for winning at Exeter which, previously hovering around the cut off point, will ensure she gets a run.