Katie Walsh: I don’t see why Tiger Roll couldn’t go for hat-trick
The Betway ambassador, who sat on Gordon Elliott's champion horse before the Grand National, reviews a successful Aintree Festival for the Irish.
Everyone was in agreement that, as far as form was concerned, Tiger Roll was out on his own.
His form heading into the race was even better than last year, having been so impressive at Cheltenham and then before that he was eye-catching over hurdles at Navan.
It was ideal for him that there was no rain on the day and any that had fallen had a chance to dry out, it was gorgeous jumping ground.
All in all, it’s just a huge achievement and a fantastic result.
I was lucky enough to have sat on him at Gordon Elliott's yard ahead of the National and it’s extra special now he’s a back-to-back winner of the race.
Though he’s a small horse, and the measuring stick certainly doesn’t lie, he doesn’t ride that small.
Connections have obviously said that the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham is the main aim for next season, but I don’t see why he couldn’t go for a third National.
If he can come back in the same sort of form next year then I don’t see why not, he may even improve again.
He’ll be 10 next year and some people would say that’s an ideal age for a National horse.
Great National Festival for the Irish
Ruby came back from the meeting in great form.
Aintree hasn’t always been the kindest of places to him but he had a great week this year.
Kemboy was very impressive in winning the Betway Bowl and Min was equally as good in the Melling Chase.
To top that off, he got a great spin round in the National on Rathvinden.
Though it would have been great to see Ruby win it, I’m not going to lie, I was actually cheering on Paddy Kennedy on Magic Of Light!
It was a superb performance for the mare to come second at 66/1 and that would have been an absolutely massive result.
I know Tiger Roll was favourite, and Rathvinden second favourite, but it just goes to show that the National is still a race full of surprises, that’s why it’s so special.
It was great for Rachael Blackmore to get a good spin in the National too. The way she’s going, she’s likely to have a few more good chances in the race over the coming years.
Avoiding injury is a big thing, so hopefully she can do that, and then all being well I don’t see why she wouldn’t pick up a nice ride in the race next year.
Unlucky Magic in Topham
Ross and I had high hopes for Call It Magic in the Topham but he was just a bit unlucky.
The loose horse came across him a bit and he had to put in an extra stride before the fence.
It’s not the first hard-luck story and it won’t be the last, we were just pleased that Mark Enright was fine and able to ride in the National the next day.
The owners are happy, the horse is none the worse and we all live to fight another day.
He’s got a couple of entries at Punchestown and Leopardstown so hopefully we can get another run into him this season.
Baie Des Isles has National entry but eyes on France
Looking ahead to Fairyhouse, Baie Des Iles could line up in the Irish Grand National.
We won’t be nailing our colours to the mast just yet as she’s not guaranteed a run and everything needs to come right between now and then.
The ultimate plan with her is to go over to France for the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris at Auteuil on 19 May.
Any Second Now, who Dad trains, came out of Cheltenham really well.
Dereck O’Connor gave a him a great ride in the Kim Muir and he now gets into the National off a nice weight of 11st.
He didn’t get a hard race at Cheltenham despite winning and he’s in very good form.
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