Tiger Roll, who defected from the Aintree Grand National due to his high rating, tops the weights for the Boylesports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.
The dual Grand National winner made it five Cheltenham Festival wins last month when taking this year's Cross Country Chase. But should he run on Easter Monday, it will be his first run over fences in Ireland since being pulled up in the Clonmel Oil Chase in 2017.
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Tiger Roll, along with Latest Exhibition and Sempo are among 60 horses remaining in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National on Monday following Wednesday’s final forfeit stage.
The trio head the early betting for the Easter spectacular with the race sponsors and sit comfortably among the 30 highest-rated horses. They are each guaranteed a run, should they be declared at 10am on Friday. Three horses will be included as reserves for the race at that time and will only make the final lineup if there are non-runners announced before 10am on Saturday.
Tiger Roll’s trainer Denise Foster also has Coko Beach, Escaria Ten, Farclas and Run Wild Fred among those to have secured a place while, in addition to Latest Exhibition, Discorama is safe for Paul Nolan and Home By The Lee and Mortal will get in for Sempo’s trainer Joseph O'Brien.
"It's like a grade one with the quality of horses and prizemoney on offer," admitted the trainer.
Agusta Gold, Brahma Bull and Salsaretta could yet represent champion trainer Willie Mullins, who won the race for the first time with Burrows Saint in 2019.
While Willie's brother Tom Mullins has Porterstown winner Court Maid, who sits just below the top two in the weights, and Scoir Mear.
'Brilliant to see Tiger Roll still involved'
Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “We are gearing up to a great BoyleSports Irish Grand National and it is brilliant to see dual Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll still involved, but it’s far from a one-horse race.
"The ground is currently yielding to soft with rain forecast for Sunday evening. It is all go here and while the racing will be behind closed doors, we can look forward to widespread television coverage on RTE 2 and ITV on Monday.”
Also featuring on the Easter Monday card is the Grade 2 The Underwriting Exchange Hurdle which has attracted 17 entries including the Denise Foster-trained Abacadabras and Petit Mouchoir, Noel Meade’s Beacon Edge and the Mouse Morris-trained French Dynamite.
There are 14 entries for the Grade 2 Devenish Chase and among them are Joseph O'Brien’s Fakir D'oudairies, Denise Foster’s Battleoverdoyen, Pat Fahy’s Castlegrace Paddy and the Noel Meade-trained Snow Falcon.
Meade’s Cheltenham Festival winner Jeff Kidder tops the 10 entries for the Grade 2 Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Juvenile Hurdle which could also feature the Denise Foster-trained Teahupoo, a dual Fairyhouse winner.