Tiger Roll facing stiff test in his latest return to Aintree

Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll is among a field of eight for tomorrow’s Unibet Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.

he Gordon Elliot-trained 11-year-old, which was last seen finishing fourth in the Betway Bowl at the Merseyside track, makes his seasonal debut in the Grade Two contest, run over three miles and a furlong. James Bowen rides for the first time.

He will face stiff opposition from Protektorat, part-owned by Alex Ferguson, which bids to go one better on his second start of the season following a fine runner-up effort to Midnight Shadow in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month.

Former Gold Cup winner Native River makes his seasonal debut for Colin Tizzard, while the Kim Bailey-trained Imperial Aura, which fell when going well in the Betfair Chase on his seasonal bow, also takes his chance. Paul Nicholls is represented by Simply The Betts, which finished sixth in the Paddy Power on his return to action last month. The field is completed by The Two Amigos, Wishing And Hoping and Sam Brown.

Meanwhile, Al Boum Photo will miss his weekend engagements with the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner likely to begin his season at his usual first stop of Tramore on New Year’s Day after all.

Willie Mullins had intimated that he wanted to start him off earlier this season, as he will be turning 10 in a few weeks, and he held entries at Aintree and Punchestown. However, he was not among the declarations for the Unibet Many Clouds Chase at Aintree and stablemate Allaho is the likely big gun heading to Punchestown for the John Durkan.

Elsewhere, Western Victory (85/40) rallied gamely to claim an 11-length victory over 11/8 favourite Minx Tiara in the Jim Strang & Sons Kilsheelan Hurdle at Clonmel.

She is going to Cheltenham next week to be sold as a broodmare or maybe more fun for her new owner,” jockey/trainer Declan Queally said.

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