After Tiger Roll stormed to victory during Saturday’s Grand National, emotions were running high throughout his whole team.
Trainer Gordon Elliott was elated, while jockey Davy Russell took the time to dedicate his win to former Cork footballer Kieran O’Connor, who is currently battling a rare form of cancer.
Owner Michael O’Leary, meanwhile, was in giddy form as he boarded his Ryanair flight from Liverpool to Dublin.
After Tiger Roll’s second consecutive Grand National win, O’Leary bettered last year’s offer of one free drink per passenger by gifting those on board the plane two drinks each on the journey.
Michael O'Leary at his best again pic.twitter.com/wwoEgpPC1i
— Leon Blanche (@BoyleSportsLB) April 6, 2019
Prior to the in-flight celebrations, O’Leary and Elliott indicated that they do not plan to bring Tiger Roll back next year and attempt three in a row at Aintree.
“Will he come back for the hat-trick? I think probably not,” O’Leary told Racing TV. “He will get another eight or nine pounds from the Cheltenham Cross Country win, he could be humping 12 stone [11 stone 10 pounds is the highest allotted weight] around here next year, I think it will be unlikely.
“Much more likely, if he is fit and well, we’ll aim him for the Cross Country at Cheltenham. If he could win that for a third time, I think we’ll retire him.
“He’ll be entered here, but he will be so heavily weighted – Red Rum won three times, but I don’t want to bring him back conceding lumps of weight.”