Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll also featured in Kilbeggan Races winners enclosure

First Kilbeggan Races meeting of 2018 is on Friday, April 20

Longford Leader Sports Correspondent

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Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll also featured in Kilbeggan Races winners enclosure

Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll (right), who also featured in Kilbeggan Races winners enclosure, is pictured alongside Pleasant Company (left) in last Saturday's Grand National.

The first Kilbeggan Races meeting of the year takes place next Friday evening, April 20, with seven races on the card and the opening race goes to post at 5pm.

Eight race meetings are planned for Kilbeggan from now until next September and Kilbeggan racecourse manager Paddy Dunican is 'very confident' that they will continue to build on last year’s success. 

An interesting fact is that last Saturday's Aintree Grand National winner, Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliot, won a novice chase at Michael O’Leary’s local course in Kilbeggan on June 20, 2016.

Tiger Roll, ridden by Jack Kennedy on that occasion, won by 3 ½ lengths and coincidentally, beat the Willie Mullins trained Valyssa Monterg and Jessica Harrington’s Duckweed. 

O’Leary’s remarkable horse Tiger Roll, priced at 10/1, delivered for the punters on Saturday after he denied Pleasant Company in a pulsating finish. Both the trainer and owner had doubts about the horse jumping the fences, but he duly did it and stayed on to get to the line by the narrowest margin.

Coincidentally, David Mullins on Pleasant Company, had ridden Rule the World for Gigginstown House to win the race in 2016. The Willie Mullins trained and Malcolm Denmark owned Pleasant Company was 9th in the 2017 Aintree Grand National when ridden by Ruby Walsh. 

ALSO READ: Longford Leader's owner's horse Pleasant Company pipped at the post in the Grand National

The hero of the hour was Davy Russell who has come back in a few years from losing the main jockey tag at Gigginstown House to be the outstanding jockey in Britain and Ireland this year, after some brilliant rides at Cheltenham and now Aintree.

Tiger Roll has won almost €1 million in prize money including his three remarkable win at Cheltenham. He won the Triumph Hurdle for 4 y/o olds in 2014; the National Hunt Chase in 2017; and the Cross Country race in 2018.

ALSO READ: 16th Longford GAA Race Day

Prior to Tiger Roll, the last Aintree Grand National winner to run at Kilbeggan was Rhyme N’Reason, who was unplaced in 1983 in Kilbeggan for Jeremy Maxwell, before going on to win the Irish Grand National in 1985 and Aintree Grand National 1988.

So it might be a good idea to watch out for future Cheltenham and Aintree at the eight race meetings in Kilbeggan this year!!

The feature race at Friday's meeting is the Irish Stallion EBF Mares Nov Chase €15,000 sponsored by the European Breeders Fund supported by a good handicap chase, hurdle racing, and the bumper. 

Don't forget, the first race on Friday is at 5pm, so arrive early!

ALSO READ: Willie Mullins readying the big guns for another epic Punchestown Festival