9 things you might not know about Grand National hero Tiger Roll

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  • On Saturday 6 April 2019, Tiger Roll achieved legendary status by becoming the fifth horse to win two Grand Nationals — a feat last achieved by Red Rum 45 years ago. Here we reveal a few facts about this small but incredibly mighty horse…

    1. Bred by Gerry O’Brien in Ireland, Tiger Roll was born on 14 March 2010.

    2. He is by the 2007 Epsom Derby winner Authorized, out of a mare named Swiss Roll, who amassed over £38,000 in prize money running on the Flat — therefore, it’s safe to say Tiger Roll wasn’t bred to be a Grand National winner.

    3. Tiger Roll was bought by Flat racing giants Godolphin when he was a foal for £73,500. However he never raced for them and was sold to Devon-based National Hunt trainer Nigel Hawke three years later for £10,000.

    4. Nigel’s original plan was to run Tiger Roll in a National Hunt Flat race (bumper) and then sell him on. However, he proved such a good jumper at home, the team decided to bypass the bumper route and ran him straight in at juvenile hurdle level (hurdle races for three-year-olds). He duly won first time out by three-and-a-half lengths at Market Rasen on 10 November 2013.

    5. Tiger Roll then went back to auction at the Brightwells Cheltenham sale in December 2013, where he sold for £80,000 to agent Mags O’Toole for Gordon Elliott to train in Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud colours.

    6. Tiger Roll duly won the Triumph Hurdle at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival on what was only his second time out for his new connections. He went on to win a further three Cheltenham Festival titles; the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup in 2017 under Lisa O’Neill and the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase both in 2018 and 2019 under Keith Donoghue.

    7. He has run 35 times, winning 12 of those and has never fallen.

    8. He took an interesting route to this year’s Grand National when winning the 2m5f Boyne Hurdle at Navan in February — he went off as a 25/1 shot and won easily by four lengths.

    9. He has now amassed £1,367,282 in prize-money.

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    For all the latest equestrian news and reports, and the full report from this year’s Grand National, don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 14 April.

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