Great Britain

Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll OUT of Grand National due to ‘unfair weight’ days after trainer’s dead horse photo shame

TIGER Roll will NOT chase an historic Grand National hat-trick after his owners scratched him from this year's field.

The legendary 11-year-old, trained by the disgraced Gordon Elliott, became the first horse to win back to back Nationals since Red Rum in the 1970's.

Owners Gigginstown House Stud have decided to withdraw him from this year's race at the latest elimination stage, blaming an 'unfair weight'.

Gigginstown, the racing operation of Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, announced on Monday they would stand by Elliott after the image of him sitting on a dead horse was shared.

And now they have said they will not run their legendary chaser, who won the race in 2018 and 2019, at Aintree on April 10.

The weights were released for the Grand National last month, with Tiger Roll given a mark of 166 meaning he would carry 11st 9lbs if running at Aintree, just a pound below top weight Bristol De Mai.

In a statement, Gigginstown said Tiger Roll had been handicapped on his 'reputation' rather than his current level of form.

The statement read: "The handicapper has decided to rate him on his reputation than his form – which we fully accept is his prerogative – but we have a duty of care to Tiger.

"So we will not ask him to carry an unfair weight burden especially as he gets older and his form declines.

"We regret to announce that Tiger Roll will be removed from the Grand National entries at Tuesday’s forfeit stage.

"We hope he will run next as planned in the Cheltenham Country race, where we hope he will enjoy himself and run well.

"After that, we will consider his future wellbeing, which may involve retirement if his handicap mark is not adjusted to more fairly reflect his age and form over the past two seasons."

Aintree clerk of the course Sulekha Varma admitted she was disappointed the horse will not get the chance to match Red Rum's three wins in the National.

She said: "It is a shame. It would have been fantastic to see the horse go and attempt to win the race three times. I think we may never get the chance again in our lifetimes, but he's been a fabulous horse.

"I'm sorry we won't see him at Aintree this year, but it's for the owners and trainers to do what they feel is right for the horse."

Tiger Roll was a general 16-1 shot for the National at the time of his withdrawal, and the market is still headed by Jonjo O'Neill's Cloth Cap at 12-1.

Watch racing legend Mick Fitzgerald fight back tears in desperately sad speech over Gordon Elliott dead horse photo

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