Grand National: Tiger Roll withdrawn from historic third title bid over 'unfair weight' allowance

March 02, 2021

Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll has been withdrawn from this year's race due to an "unfair weight burden", owners Gigginstown House Stud have announced.

Gigginstown said Tiger Roll, now an 11-year-old, has been removed from the National at Tuesday's forfeit stage, claiming the horse's allocated handicap mark of 166 did not reflect his "obvious decline".

The 2018 and 2019 champion was due to carry 11st 9lbs, 7lbs higher than when he won the race at Aintree in 2019.

The Gordon Elliott-trained horse will instead head to the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival this month, if Elliott is allowed to saddle runners.

Elliott is currently banned from having runners in Britain while under investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) over an image showing the Irish trainer sat on a dead horse.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), which regulates racing in Britain, announced the sanction on Monday.

In a statement, announcing Tiger Roll's withdrawal on Tuesday, a Gigginstown spokesperson said: "The horse is now 11 years old. He was beaten by 17 lengths in last year's Cheltenham Cross Country and by 75 lengths in last month's Boyne Hurdle, so his form over an extended 2-year period suggests he is clearly not as good as he was when he won the National in April 2019.

"Despite this pretty obvious decline, the handicapper has given him a mark of 166, which is 7 pounds higher than when he won his 2nd Grand National in April 2019.

"We believe this is patently unfair, unjustified and does not reflect the horse's age or his form over the past 2 seasons.

"We made it clear that if Tiger Roll was rated in the 150s, which is what his form and age now warrants, he would be allowed to run this year's National and go for a historic 3 in a row.

"However, the handicapper has decided to rate him on his reputation rather than his form - which we fully accept is his prerogative - but we have a duty of care to Tiger, and so we will not ask him to carry an unfair weight burden."

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