TIGER Roll could revert to hurdles after trainer Gordon Elliott decided against running his Grand National hero at Cheltenham yesterday.
The diminutive chaser claimed his third Cheltenham Festival success in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in March before winning the world’s most famous steeplechase at Aintree the following month.
He made a pleasing reappearance when fourth under a big weight in another cross-country race at Cheltenham last month and was being lined up for a return to the course this week.
However, upon realising the race was another handicap and that Tiger Roll would have had to concede weight all round again, Elliott had a change of heart.
“I thought it was a conditions race and I didn’t want him running off top weight again giving stones away,” said the trainer after a winner at the Cotswolds track yesterday.
“I’ll probably give him one more run over hurdles before March to open his windpipes up.
“Back here in March is his Gold Cup, all being well.”
Meanwhile, The Worlds End got his chasing career back on track with an emphatic success in the Neville Lumb Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
After finishing third behind Ibis Du Rheu here last time out, the Tom George-trained seven-year-old reversed the form in defeating his old rival by 26 lengths under Noel Fehily, deputising for Adrian Heskin who suffered a broken leg at Taunton on Thursday. There was early drama in the extended three-mile-one-furlong contest when second-favourite Lil Rockerfeller unseated Wayne Hutchinson at the second fence.
George said: “I suppose the first thing you have to say is sorry for Adrian Heskin who is not riding.
“Last time he was a bit too careful, but he was very good (yesterday),” he said.
“He is a proper staying horse. We’ve made no plans. We will enjoy (the day).
“His next run will be important, when he runs against some higher-class horses in his generation.”