Tiger Roll – looking to win an unprecedented three Grand Nationals in-a-row – leads the entries for the 2020 race.
The Randox Health Grand National is the world’s richest Jump race and takes place for the 173rd time this year at 5.15pm on day three of the Randox Health Grand National Festival, Saturday, 4 April.
In 2019, Tiger Roll became the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back Grand Nationals and the 10-year-old now has the chance to become only horse to land three consecutive runnings of the world’s greatest chase.
Trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott and owned by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, Tiger Roll is due to begin his campaign in either the G2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan on 16 February or in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on 10 March, where he was won four times previously.
Tiger Roll is the 7/1 clear favourite with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.
Elliott accounts for 18 of the 45 Irish-trained entries in total, the most of any handler, as he chases a fourth success in the race. If victorious, he would emulate Fred Rimmell and Ginger McCain as the most successful trainer in Grand National history.
Elliott’s team also features leading Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Delta Work and the exciting novice Champagne Classic. Both horses are owned by Gigginstown House Stud.
Other G1 performers among the entries are Cheltenham Gold Cup heroes Native River (Colin Tizzard) and Sizing John (Jessica Harrington IRE), plus two-time Betfair Chase victor Bristol de Mai, one of seven contenders for dual Grand National-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Irish Grand National victor Burrows Saint is one of 10 entries for Willie Mullins, who landed the spoils in 2005 with Hedgehunter. The Mullins contingent also includes last year’s impressive Randox Health Topham Chase victor Cadmium and recent Thyestes Chase scorer Total Recall.
Last year’s runner-up Magic Of Light (Jessica Harrington IRE) and impressive Munster National heroine Cabaret Queen (Willie Mullins IRE) are the pick of four mares engaged. No mare has won the Grand National since Nickel Coin in 1951.
Tiger Roll is not the only previous Randox Health Grand National winner among the entries, with that honour also held by One For Arthur (Lucinda Russell) who in 2017 became only the second Scottish-trained scorer after Rubstic in 1979. Only four horses have regained the Grand National – Red Rum (1973, 1974, 1977), Manifesto (1897 & 1899), The Lamb (1868 & 1871) and Peter Simple (1849 & 1853).
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls ended his wait for Grand National glory in 2012 with Neptune Collonges. The Somerset handler’s six entries include Listed Badger Beers Silver Trophy victor Give Me A Copper, who is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Other high-profile entries include the JP McManus-owned pair of Kimberlite Candy (Tom Lacey)and Ok Corral (Nicky Henderson), who have started 2020 with coveted handicap chase successes at Warwick and Doncaster respectively, plus Welsh National hero Potters Corner (Christian Williams), who is part-owned by Wales rugby union international Jonathan Davies.
Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Since crossing the line first in last year’s race, the extraordinary Tiger Roll has been perched at the top of the betting for the 2020 renewal and we are currently offering a top price of 7/1. Could he be the first horse to win the race three years in a row?
“Native River, the 2018 Gold Cup Winner, looks to have been campaigned for a crack at the Grand National and the Colin Tizzard trained gelding is available at 20/1 with us at Betway.
“Despite winning almost all there is to win in horse racing, the Grand National still eludes Nicky Henderson. This year, he has four horses entered in an attempt to break his duck and for the master trainer to win the race with any of his entrants is 10/1.”