Dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll makes his eagerly-awaited seasonal reappearance - and Flat turf debut - at Navan on Thursday.

Gordon Elliott's 10-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since finding Easysland too strong when bidding for a remarkable fifth win at the Cheltenham Festival in the Glenfarclas cross-country Chase in March.

The coronavirus pandemic denied Tiger Roll his bid for an unprecedented third straight win at Aintree in April, but Elliott feels the cancellation of the world's most famous steeplechase may ultimately have been a blessing in disguise.

"It wasn't that annoying at all (to miss the Grand National) because he'd had a very hard race in Cheltenham and came home a bit stiff and sore behind," said the Cullentra trainer.

"The decision was made a week after Cheltenham that Aintree wasn't going to go ahead, so we didn't really get to think about it that much.

"It was going to be a tough couple of weeks to get there, anyway, because he hadn't a brilliant preparation for Cheltenham."

Despite Tiger Roll's advancing years, Elliott reported his "horse of a lifetime" to be in rude health for his return to action in the one-mile-six-furlong Flower Hill Maiden - in which he is due to face nine rivals in the hands of 7lb claiming apprentice Sam Ewing.

"He's absolutely in great form. Simon McGonagle, my head man, rides him out most days," added Elliott.
"I think ground is the big key to him - the better the ground, the better he is.

"He's just been the horse of a lifetime, and everyone who comes into the yard wants to see Tiger Roll - whether it's a child from a local village or a Dublin footballer, whenever they come into the yard, he's the first person they want to see."