Grand National hero Tiger Roll could be retired before getting chance to match Red Rum and win it for third time
GRAND NATIONAL hero Tiger Roll could be retired before this year's Grand National at Aintree.
Gordon Elliott's star has already won the showpiece twice, but connections have warned he might not be given a shot at a remarkable third.
Tiger Roll would be looking to emulate the great Red Rum who won the race three times.
But with Tiger Roll now 11 and having suffered defeat on his last four outings, his ability is undoubtedly diminishing.
Owner Micheal O'Leary argued before last year's eventually cancelled race that his rating was too high to run in the race.
And that feud has been reopened with the Ryanair boss warning he could be retired or instead aimed at the Irish Grand National if the handicapper doesn't give him less weight to carry in April.
He said: "He last won the National off 159. He's run four times since and has not finished in the frame.
"He was beaten by Easysland by 17 lengths off level weights – Easysland is now rated 167, yet somehow Tiger Roll is still rated around 170.
"I think if he rates him fairly, somewhere in the 150s then he'll run in the Grand National.
"If he rates him in the 160s or 170s, he won't and we'll take him out after the weights.
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"The plan for Gordon and Eddie (O'Leary racing manager) has always been to take him to the Cross Country at Cheltenham, where I believe he will be kicked out of the way again by Easysland, and then I think the options are possibly retirement or we may look at an entry in the Irish Grand National, where I think he would be more fairly weighted.
"We've a responsibility to the horse. He owes us nothing, he's a four-time winner at Cheltenham and a two-time Grand National winner.
"He's getting older, he may not run again after Cheltenham. His last couple of runs suggest he's not in love with the game anymore and the priority at this point is minding Tiger Roll."
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