Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
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TIGER Roll will be retired after bidding for a fourth victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
The dual Grand National winner has already been ruled out of a third attempt at the National by owner Michael O’Leary because of the weight he was allotted for the Aintree showpiece.
Tiger Roll was assigned 11st 4lbs for the National, where the weights are headed by Conflated and Galvin on 11st 10lbs. Tiger Roll’s weight would increase if horses weighted above him are withdrawn and O’Leary had earlier said Tiger Roll would not attempt a record-equaling third victory in the Grand National.
“You cannot defy age. He will not be in the Grand National by the time he runs in the cross country – he’s coming out at the next forfeit stage,” O’Leary said (Sky Sports Racing report).
“If he [British Horseracing Authority handicapper] rated him at around 150 and gave him a 5lb premium for his past Aintree performance, he’d be 155, which is what the Irish handicapper rated him this time last year.
“We’d have run him at that and it would at least have given him a fair chance.
“I have no intention of asking the horse, who is like a fifth child to me, to carry 11st 8lb or 11st 10lb around Aintree at his age.
“Thankfully, the Tiger Roll controversy will never happen again because he will be retired after the cross-country race in Cheltenham this year.”
Tiger Roll heads the betting at 2-1 (Coral) for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on March 16 where the 12-year-old will be attempting to win for the sixth time at the Cheltenham Festival.
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