TIGER Roll is a surprise entry for next Wednesday's Tote Galway Plate.
The 11-year-old has been let in on a handicap mark of 155, 3lb lower than stable companion Samcro and 4lb lower than the British handicap mark he won his second Grand National off in 2019.
Just four months ago, Tiger Roll was rated 163 by the Irish handicapper when allocating weights for the Irish Grand National, meaning the horse has been dropped 8lb.
Tiger Roll was rated 166 in Britain prior to winning the Cross Country Race at Cheltenham last March and he was raised 1lb to 167 afterwards. He was controversially withdrawn from the Aintree Grand National as his owners, Gigginstown House Stud, felt his rating was unfair. Instead the horse ran in a Grade 1 chase at Aintree in which he was never competitive.
The Aintree Grand National and Cheltenham Festival legend is one of nine entries made by trainer Denise Foster for next week's Plate.
The weights revealed on Monday afternoon have Tiger Roll on 11st 7lb and there are three horses above him in the early handicap.
Samcro tops the weights on 11st 10lb with the Willie Mullins-trained Easy Game next in on 11st 9lb, while another of the Cullentra team, Battleoverdoyen, is on 11st 8lb.
Denise Foster has also entered her recent Kilbeggan Midlands National winner The Big Lense for owner J.P. McManus and The Very Man, a winner over hurdles at last year’s Festival.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins has made 12 entries as he bids to win the race for the first time in 10 years. Along with Easy Game, last year’s narrow Plate runner-up Royal Rendezvous is in his team as is the lightly-raced Sapphire Lady, the novice Fan Des Blues, and Livelovelaugh, sixth in the race last year.
Joseph O'Brien won the 2020 Tote Galway Plate with the McManus-owned Early Doors and his seven entries this time include Darasso, Top Moon and Embittered.
The winner of his last three starts, Cavalry Master features in a Henry de Bromhead-entry of seven that also contains Somptueux and Visioman.
Other notable entries include Edward O'Grady’s The West’s Awake which narrowly got the better of Visioman to land the Galway Races Galway Plate Trial Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan last month, Emmet Mullins’ The Shunter, the Cathal Byrnes-trained Off You Go, the Noel Meade-trained Snow Falcon, Gearoid O'Loughlin’s Ben Dundee and Shady Operator, one of a trio in the race for Enda Bolger.