Tiger Roll to be ready for 2020 Grand National despite setback

By Sports Desk November 27, 2019

Tiger Roll's bid to secure an unprecedented third successive Grand National win remains on course despite the horse undergoing a procedure.

The nine-year-old had a chip removed from a joint this month and is on box rest, but trainer Gordon Elliott has backed his star turn to be ready for the headline race at Aintree next April.

Tiger Roll matched the feat of Red Rum in making it back-to-back victories at this year's Grand National, but three would mark a historic achievement. 

"The procedure he had went well. He's on box rest until Thursday week, when the bandage will come off and he'll start back walking," said Elliott.

"He'll be walking for three weeks then, all being well, he'll be back cantering after that.

"He was in full fitness and almost ready to run when it happened. It's not ideal, but if it had happened in January or February it would have been a lot worse.

"The Randox Grand National is the plan. Obviously Michael O'Leary owns him and will make the final decision, but in my mind this is the race I've been training him for since last year.

"It's the Grand National, I know what can happen in a Grand National. When you go to Cheltenham there's a lot of pressure, but going to Aintree, it's just great to be there. There's pressure but of a different kind.

"Anything can happen in the National, that's what makes it the race it is, but the build up to the race will be second to none."

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    In the meantime, according to Nunes an email from the USDA stated that the horse had spent more than 44 days straight in a 10 by 10 feet quarantine isolation stall, which does not typically hold animals longer than 15 days.  The trainer believes the action borders on inhumane.

    “…If the USDA is telling you that it is inhumane to do that to this animal are you telling me that veterinarians from the country of which this horse was born are saying no you cannot come here, that you do not have a humane bone in your body to worry about this horse mentally and physically,” an irate Nunes told the SportsMax Zone .

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    “For Veterinary Services Division to say that they cannot accept Supreme Soul back into Jamaica makes absolutely no sense.  In fact, if he was to be shipped back to Jamaica he shouldn’t even have to go through quarantine because the truth of the matter is that of the 1200 horses he is going to mix with at Caymanas Park, 1199 of them are already probably carrying the tick fever virus."

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