THE remarkable Red Rum not only saved the Grand National but started my fascination with this truly brilliant race and to be there on Saturday, viewing by the winning line to see Tiger Roll score again, was an honour that I will never forget.
45 years have passed since Red Rum achieved back-to-back wins and whilst there was no doubting beforehand that Tiger Roll had the best chance of replicating the great ‘Rummy’ the style in which he cruised into the lead after making a couple of mistakes was mightily impressive.
Tiger Roll has put racing on the front pages in a year where we have seen great TV viewing figures not only in the UK but globally too. Importantly, Tiger Roll’s success has well and truly focused everyone on the Grand National, Aintree and Liverpool, which is so important for the North West.
Tiger Roll is the first back-to-back winner of the race since Red Rum
— Unibet Racing (@UnibetRacing) April 6, 2019
The Jockey Club team did a fantastic job over the three day Grand National Festival on all counts as did the Jockey Club Catering team headed up by General Manager Peter Jardine.
Peter and his team had great feedback throughout, from the prestigious 1750 Restaurant experience, Silver Birch in its second year as a concept once again proving so popular, whilst in the 1839 Restaurant for owners and trainers, there was excellent feedback on the menu, wine list and service.
It was great to be presenting at Aintree and like everyone who was involved in working at the Grand National Festival a truly memorable experience.
Today we head off to Warwick for the jumps, Nottingham on the flat, with all-weather at Lingfield and Kempton.
2.10 Warwick Maiden Hurdle 2m 5f
Fortescue has looked pretty slow and at times, a bit reluctant but this huge horse found the penny dropping at Hereford last time and he finished within hailing distance of a couple of 130-rated rivals. This isn’t the strongest of contests and it wouldn’t take a lot more for him to get involved, with the extra two furlongs a plus as he was staying on well at Hereford.
4.10 Nottingham Handicap (Class 5) 1m ½f
Me Too Nagasaki is basically better class than these if he can rediscover his best form, and the switch back to turf (along with a plot draw in stall 1, which has an excellent record over a mile) might just be the catalyst. Didn’t run at all badly at Kempton two starts ago, a run which suggests he retains plenty of his ability, and he can score here.
4.40 Nottingham Handicap (Class 5) 1m 2f
Bo Samraan finished off last year by finishing a close fourth in a 10f Class 2 nursery at Newmarket, and no surprise he improved for the step up in trip that day, given he’ll want middle distances this year. Takes a huge drop to a Class 5 event today and if he’s fit after his winter break, expect him to try and make all the running from a good draw.
4.50 Warwick 3m 5f Chase
Fifty Shades (nap) has been found an opportunity over a marathon trip on good ground that is sure to suit him more than most of his rivals. Last summer Fifty Shades scored a hat-trick of successes on decent ground and whilst he hasn’t achieved that consistency this term he won on his penultimate start at Fakenham.
7.45 Kempton Handicap 1m 4f
Executive Force is remarkably seeking his seventh success of the year, which would make him a serious contender for the winning-most All-Weather horse this All-weather season.
Tonight he steps up in trip for the first time, with his pedigree suggesting that this is sure to suit.
On his one start at Kempton in 2019, he finished second to the smart Matterhorn, when traffic problems meant he had no chance of getting on terms.
Regular pilot Franny Norton takes the ride.