For the second time in three years, the spoils from National Hunt racing’s premier steeplechase have gone to Westmeath.
Tiger Roll, owned by Gigginstown House Stud (near Delvin) and Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, held on to claim a thrilling win in the Randox Health Grand National today.
Fresh from his Cross-County Chase victory at Cheltenham last month, the Gordon Elliott-trained eight-year-old – Davy Russell in the saddle – was cruising into the final stretch.
However, there was almost a sting in the tail. As ‘Tiger’ headed for the line, second-placed Pleasant Company crept up on him and almost stole it at the death.
After a brief pause though, the judges confirmed that the 10-1 shot had won it by a nose.
In 2016, Gigginstown enjoyed its first win at the marquee annual race with Rule The World – one leg of a hat-trick which also included Cheltenham Gold Cup and Irish Grand National victories.
“It’s a great day for Gordon and for Davy. It’s his first national and he’s 38, Tiger Roll has a master trainer in Gordon, he has won a Triumph Hurdle as a four-year-old and now he's won the national,” commented owner Michael O’Leary.