‘We are certainly not finished yet’: Tiger Roll could bid to make history as Grand National weights are revealed

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  • Two-time Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll (pictured) is among those entered for this year’s Grand National (9 April), along with 2021 winner Minella Times, as the weights for the 2022 race are revealed.

    Gigginstown House Stud’s 12-year-old gelding, who won in 2018 and 2019, has been given a rating of 161 and a weight of 11st 4lb to carry should he try to equal Red Rum’s record three National wins — although his connections are yet to confirm whether he will run.

    “He is in very good form at home,” said his trainer, Gordon Elliott as the Grand National weights were released. “We have been training him for the Cheltenham Festival all season and we are really looking forward to going back there. We will see how Cheltenham goes, but he has got a nice weight so the Grand National could be on the agenda.

    “To have a horse like him is a dream come true, but to win two Grand Nationals with him has just been awesome and I’m very lucky to have him. I do think there is still more in him and we are certainly not finished yet.”

    Minella Times won the 2021 Grand National, helping create history for jockey Rachael Blackmore who became the first female rider to win the race. It was a second National second success for jump racing’s most successful owner, JP McManus, and a first for trainer Henry de Bromhead.

    This year Minella Times is set to carry the same as Tiger Roll, 11st 4lb, with his rating having risen to 161 – up 15lbs from his rating of 146 in 2021.

    Henry said: said: “He loves it around Aintree and certainly did last year, so hopefully he’ll come back to form now. He’s been a little bit off form recently but he looks like he’s coming back to form and hopefully he will by April.

    “They certainly have to enjoy it to do well around Aintree and hopefully going back will help him find his form.”

    The top weight of 11st 10lb has been given to two more Gordon Elliott-trained horses; Conflated, also owned by Gigginstown House Stud, and Ronnie Bartlett’s Galvin, both of whom are rated 167.

    Trainer Charlie Longsdon has a very exciting Grand National prospect in the form of Snow Leopardess, a fifth-generation home-bred belonging to William Fox-Pitt’s mother Marietta.

    Charlie admitted he is “very excited” by the prospect of Snow Leopardess, who had a foal in 2019, bidding to become the first grey mare to win the Grand National.

    Having learned that the mare had been allocated an initial weight of 10st 3lb for the contest, Charlie said: “We’ve got to keep our fingers crossed but it is all very exciting. Running off 10st 3lbs would be some weight but it won’t be that unfortunately. She will still be under 11st though so it will still be a nice light weight.

    “Her story with her being a mum is the sort of story I can see people really latching on to over the next couple of months. I can see people talking about the Grand National runner with a child.”

    Another possible key contender is the Nicky Henderson-trained Caribean Boy, and Nicky believes this eight-year-old grey, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, could be his best chance “in a long time” to end his 43-year wait to land the world’s greatest steeplechase.

    Nicky saddled 20-1 runner-up Zongalero in his first Grand National in 1979 but has still not managed to go one better in a race he wants to win “more than anything”.

    Handicapper Martin Greenwood has rated Caribean Boy 149 with a weight of 10st 6lbs.

    Nicky said: “He will be one of the more likely horses I’ve had for the race for a long time. I’ve yet to win any National – English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh! We won’t mention the American National as I can’t count that!”

    The handicapper for the Grand National can give horses a maximum of 11st 10lb in weight. The minimum weight a horse can be allocated is 10st, regardless of whether or not the horse’s rating merits a lesser weight. Handicappers look at the form of each horse, as well as other factors, to determine the official rating and therefore the weight they should carry. Even if a horse wins a race after the weights announcement, the weight it will carry in the race will not change.

    A total of 40 horses will line up on 9 April. At the time of publication, 104 entries remain. Those at the top of the weights are guaranteed a run, and entries will be accepted from the 41st entry as runners in the top 40 are taken out of the race by their connections.

    Full list of 2022 Grand National weights

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