Weekend Racing Blog: Tiger Roll / Cheltenham / Paddy Gold Cup

What a super weekend of racing in store with the 3-day Cheltenham Open November meeting from Friday through to Sunday. Just look at some of the horses running this weekend… exciting or what?!

  • Tiger Roll
  • Easysland
  • Defi Du Seuil
  • Battleoverdoyen
  • Cilaos Emery
  • Kemboy
  • Protektorat
  • Sporting John
  • Saint Sonnet
  • Saint Roi
  • Fiddlerontheroof
  • Farouk D’alene
  • Sams Profile

Tiger Roll in Cheltenham Cross Country Race

The 10-year-old runs in the cross country race at Cheltenham on Friday afternoon. The two-time Grand National winner has won the Cheltenham Festival cross country race in the same years as winning his two National.

No horse has won three Grand Nationals in three years but Tiger Roll was denied the opportunity this year. Only Red Rum has won three Nationals which means Tiger Roll will join a very exclusive club if winning the Aintree marathon next April.

The gelding was second to Easysland at Cheltenham back in March and that horse opposes again on Friday.

Friday’s cross country race at the home of the jumps is a handicap race and Easysland looks thrown in at the weights and on offer at 4/6 with BetVictor. Whatever transpires for Tiger Roll we hope the owners give him a shot at sporting immortality by winning another Grand National in 2021.

Key Triumph Hurdle Trial

Allmankind won Saturday’s Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham last season and was third in the big one at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

You can downgrade that outcome by one place because Goshen got rid of the jockey after the final hurdle with the race in his pocket. Allmankind produced an Official Rating (OR) of 148 in the Triumph Hurdle which is a career high mark over hurdles.

The trial 12 months ago was only the gelding’s second run over hurdles so the handicapper had not issued an official figure yet. However, a form assessment put Allmankind in the 130 area.

The only horse running in the trial on Saturday (12.30pm, Cheltenham) at that level is Cabot’s Cliff who can be backed at 11/1 with BetVictor.

Paddy Power Gold Cup Pointers

The combined odds for the top three in the Paddy Power Gold Cup betting is around Evens. However, this handicap chase over 2m 4f is a more open looking than that would suggest.

Three of the last five winners started at betting odds bigger than 12/1 and horses at 8/1 prevailed in the other two years.

No horse aged 10 or older has won the race since 1975.

Spiritofthegames is one of the trends horses in terms of weight and age. Four wins in 19 chase starts does not augur well for the eight-year-old but some form from the past suggests this is a manageable handicap mark.

The distance and the forecast going of good / good to soft in places are not issues so Spiritofthegames has the profile to be another double figure priced winner of Saturday’s feature race.

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle Contender

The Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday afternoon is a competitive handicap that usually attracts a decent field.

Some high class horses have won the race in the past, including Champion Hurdle contenders. Rooster Booster who won in 2002 went on to win the Champion Hurdle the following March. Detroit City won this race in 2006 and the Triumph Hurdle earlier in the year.

Edwardstone would have to win Sunday’s race with something in hand carrying 11 stone to have the potential to be a Grade 1 contender. However, the defeat of Fiddlerontheroof by three quarters of a length off level weights in a novices’ hurdle last November suggests the horse could graduate from handicaps to conditions hurdle races.

The current best price for the Champion Hurdle is 66/1 with Unibet.

And finally…

If Tiger Roll does win the 2021 Grand National next April, let’s hope there is not an asterix against his name because the horse did not win the race three times in three consecutive years.

His run on Friday in Cheltenham’s cross country race will be informative and one potential outcome is retirement. However, the sport would benefit immeasurably if Tiger Roll wins the Grand National again.

* Horse racing betting odds correct at the time of writing