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Two different sets of sports fans will be roaring on their favourite ‘tigers’ over the next week.
The Grand National and the US Masters are arguably the biggest events of the year in both Horse Racing and Golf. Similarities between the two are few, but one thing they do have in common is that Tiger Woods and Tiger Roll will ensure that the public will be gripped by a ‘Tiger Fever’ given their huge popularity.
Woods needs no introduction. Having had a glittering career, the Golf legend has put his recent personal problems behind him and is now aiming for his first US Masters victory since 2005.
His preparation has been meticulous and he has even had an Augusta-style putting green installed in his Florida home. When asked about how he is preparing for the unique course at Augusta, he said; ‘A lot of practicing my putting, short game, getting a speed down. Some years I’ve gone there where the greens at Augusta seem slow because we’ve had the greens so much faster at home, but we don’t have the slope that Augusta has, and so again that’s trying to get a feel for shaping shots.’
Woods is currently 14/1 to reclaim the Green Jacket in what would seal one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.
At only 15.2 hands, the petite Tiger Roll has taken National Hunt racing by storm after winning last years Grand National along with two stamina-sapping Cross Country Chases at the Cheltenham Festival. Currently 4/1 to make it back-to-back Nationals, you must go back 100 years to find a winner of the great race at a smaller price – this was Poethlyn who landed at odds of 11/4 under Ernie Piggott.
After the Gigginstown stars victory at Cheltenham in 2018, owner Michael O’Leary said; ‘The secret to Tiger Roll seems to be there’s no distance too far and the further he goes the better he is. I thought he had no chance today because he’s really a good-ground horse. He’s only a small horse, he’s a little rat of a thing, but he’s got a heart of a lion.’
If Tiger Roll repeats the trick on Saturday, he will forever etch his name in the Equine history books.