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Tiger Roll removed from Cheltenham Festival betting after pulling up in Cross Country Handicap

  • Tiger Roll was removed from the Cross Country betting by Ladbrokes on Friday
  • This came after the two-time Grand National winner was pulled up before halfway in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham on Friday
  • Easysland could only finish fifth, and drifted out to 7/4 in the Cheltenham Festival betting
tiger roll
Robbie Power riding Tiger Roll after being pulled up in The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on November 13. (Getty)

Tiger Roll was taken out of the betting for the 2021 Cross County Chase on Friday, and retirement now seems a real possibility.

All eyes were on Gordon Elliott's four-time Cheltenham Festival hero, and French rival Easysland, as they renewed rivalries at Cheltenham on Friday. Easysland was the heavily-backed favourite for that Cross Country Handicap Chase, but Tiger Roll wasn't without support when the starter sent them on their way.

Warning signs were there for Tiger Roll's legion of fans before the race even started, as Robbie Power's mount sweated up noticeably before the off. A slow leap at the first few obstacles was a sign of things to come and, after dropping to the rear of the pack at the half-way stage, Power was forced to pull his mount up.

That seemingly left the door open for favourite Easysland to claim a simple victory. Yet, in another surprising twist, Dennis Cottin's star didn't run up to anywhere near his handicap mark, trailing over the line fifth as Kingswell Theatre regained the title he won back in 2018.

Ladbrokes were quick to react, pushing Easysland out to 7/4 from 11/8 to retain his Cross Country Crown at the Cheltenham Festival. Tiger Roll, who had been the 5/1 second favourite, was removed from the betting altogether.

Speaking after the race, Robbie Power described his mount's performance as "lifeless". Gordon Elliott, who reported that his two-time Grand National winner had returned to Ireland in good shape on Saturday morning, also admitted it was a performance that cast huge doubts over Tiger Roll's future.

"Maybe his better days are behind him." Elliott admitted to the Racing Post. "We'll see how he is, but on his last two runs he doesn't look like the horse he was last year."

"It was disappointing. He never really travelled or jumped. He was beaten after two fences." 

"He's not getting any younger. We'll see how he is. There's no excuse, maybe he's just getting older."

"I spoke to Robert and he said he never travelled. We'll get him home and see how he is. If he never does another thing he owes us nothing."

Welsh Grand National winner, Potters Corner stayed on up the hill at Cheltenham to finish second on Friday. Christian Williams was pleased with the way his charge handled his first run around this unique Cross Country track, and said the plan was to run in the Cross Country at the Festival before going onto the Grand National.

*2021 Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase odds with Ladbrokes*
7/4 Easysland, 7/1 Potters Corner, 12/1 Amazing Comedy, 20/1 Kingwell Theatre, 25/1 Diesel D’Allier, 33/1 bar
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