Classy Burrows Saint can halt Tiger Roll’s bid for record third successive triumph in the Grand National
- Tiger Roll will run off the highest mark since 1998 runner-up Suny Bay
- Connections of Tiger Roll have cast doubt over bid for third successive victory
- Last year’s Irish National winner Burrows Saint is strong ante-post proposition
The last time I checked, the Grand National was run over just in excess of four and a quarter miles, required participants to jump 30 fences, navigate their way around a fervent acre or three of Merseyside real estate and cope with loose horses and chaos at every turn.
There are any number of variables which determine the winner of the world’s greatest horse race, yet connections of Tiger Roll appear fixated that their champion has been handed a pound or two more than is reasonable.
I’m no expert on the handicapping system but I would suggest a rating of 170 is entirely reasonable for a horse that barely came off the bridle until the elbow in last year’s National triumph.
Tiger Roll is not certain to be aimed at the Grand National after being given top weight
While the O’Learys bemoan the fact Tiger Roll will run off the highest mark since Suny Bay — runner-up in 1998 — the market certainly suggests he has been treated fairly given he remains the 6-1 favourite to complete an historic hat-trick.
However, Tiger Roll is not really an ante-post proposition because he is unlikely to be a great deal shorter on the day. But Burrows Saint may be and he catches the eye at 16-1.
Last year’s Irish National winner could barely have been more impressive at Fairyhouse last April.
An early spin over fences in December rubber-stamped his qualification and Willie Mullins, his canny handler, then sent him hurdling at Punchestown, where he showed his class to score with authority, much in the style of Tiger Roll in last February’s Boyne Hurdle.
That race proved Burrows Saint’s fitness while keeping his handicap mark until Tuesday’s weights launch — and he looks good for an ante-post play.