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Weekly Column: Molly Dingwall

Press Release 19th February 2020 Carlisle

Tiger Roll will be ready to roar when he bids to become the first horse since Red Rum to win three Randox Health Grand Nationals.

tiger roll 2019.JPG

And as long as he can qualify for the Randox Health Grand National on his next start in the Cross-Country-Chase at Cheltenham – I see no reason why he can’t emulate the great Red Rum if he turns up in the same sensational form as last year.

Tiger Roll is trained by a genius, Gordon Elliott, and he could make racing history on April 4.

And although Tiger Roll will be lumping additional weight around Aintree, I don’t think that will stop him becoming the first horse to win three Randox Health Grand Nationals in succession.

Last Sunday, Tiger Roll ran for the first time since winning the world’s greatest steeplechase in 2019 and Elliott said he was absolutely thrilled by Tiger Roll’s effort.

It was a fitness exercise at Navan, and he appeared to pass with flying colours.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to visit Gordon Elliott’s yard in Ireland - and I even got to give Tiger Roll a cuddle.

When you are watching a horse race on TV it is quite hard to determine the actual size of the animal, but Tiger Roll looks like a pony close up.

But boy you can only marvel at his natural ability, guts and raw determination when he is in the heat of battle.

Of course, Gordon Elliott is fortunate to have such a brilliant horse under his tutelage and believe me good horses are like gold dust.

But Elliott is a master of his craft and has steered Tiger Roll’s career beautifully.

Gordon Elliott and Paul Nicholls, in England, are the training goliaths of jumps racing, but racing means just as much to a trainer whether he has 200 in his yard or just a handful.

Thursby’s John Dixon only has three horses but his tough as teak Captain Zebo made it a hat-trick of wins at Carlisle on Monday.

And there was double delight for John, with his talented eight-year-old ridden to victory by his son John Junior.

It was Captain Zebo’s first outing for nearly a year and a wonderful training performance to win our £14,000 feature race, The Like Racing TV on Facebook Handicap Hurdle.

Captain Zebo, owned by John’s wife Sheila, even has his own supporters club and you could have heard the roar in Keswick when he arrived back in the winners’ enclosure to a mighty cheer.

These stories are magical, and what makes racing such a special sport.

Don’t forget we are back racing again at Carlisle on Monday and I hope to see you all there.

The gates open at 12.10pm and the first race is at 2.10pm.

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