Watch incredible scenes as Tiger Roll and Delta Work enter the Cheltenham Festival parade ring after the legend’s final run
Tiger Roll failed miserably in his bid to bow out in a blaze of glory after finishing second to stablemate Delta Work in the Glenfarclas Chase – but he still received the hero’s welcome that his career deserved.
Double Grand National hero Tiger Roll, who was chasing a sixth Cheltenham Festival victory since winning the Triumph Hurdle in 2014, took the lead as the race reached its final stages – but Delta Work narrowly overtook him to win on the line.
Boos initially rang out at the result, but soon those taunts turned into mass cheers as the horses and their jockeys Davy Russell and Jack Kennedy enjoyed an emotional joint trip together in the parade ring.
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Elliott said: “Of course I wanted the Tiger to win, but once I won the race I didn’t mind because it was for Gigginstown who are so supportive of us – and the reception it has had. received when he entered the ring is He’s been the horse of a lifetime and I’m very lucky to have had him – he’s now going back to Michael O’Leary.
“He’s been with us for nine years now and to be honest I had tears in my eyes there, it’s unbelievable. If he had won it would have been special, but he got carried away and we are absolutely thrilled.
“We always had faith in him and it’s great, he really enjoyed the game and it’s a great result. The crowd reaction didn’t really surprise me to be honest and if he had won, the cheers would have been amazing. He got the reaction he deserved and we are very proud of him. It will be a big loss for the yard but he will only be in Gigginstown which is down the street so they can go see him whenever they want.
“The terrain really suited Delta Work and it was a great performance from the winner – he can enjoy this race for a few years now.”
Owner Michael O’Leary said of Tiger Roll: “It’s his departure – he owes us nothing. It has been wonderful to come back here for six, seven, eight years.
“He was the horse of a lifetime and in many ways Cheltenham was his spiritual home. He has won five times here at Cheltenham. I know he won two Grand Nationals, but he started here at Cheltenham.
“To start winning the Triumph Hurdle here as a four-year-old and then winning the National Hunt Chase and three cross-country races, it’s unbelievable.
“It’s a legend.
“I would have really liked to see Tiger take a win. Hard not to be disappointed. You have a winner at Cheltenham and I’m disappointed.
“It’s just a magic tale on a pitch that doesn’t suit him. He came out on his shield, he’s a warrior and he’s a Gold Cup horse that beat him and just on ground he wouldn’t like.
“I’m really upset – I would have liked to see him win.”
Tiger Roll rider Davy Russell said: “He’s a great horse and he’s had a proper send off so that’s great. I always felt Jack breathing down my neck and I would say the rain and the ground surprised us because the Delta work is very effective on this terrain and I would say Tiger is not as effective on it.
“He put down his sword as he deserved. You can see the audience is fantastic. No matter where they come from, they encourage both horses. It’s such a wonderful sport that we have and we’re so lucky. He’s just a wonderful horse.
“Tongue in cheek some people booed Delta Work and I didn’t think it was fair because he put in the same effort as Tiger so he deserved the applause.
“I don’t think I could have done otherwise. He likes to be in the lead at some point in the race at this age in his career because he likes to lead a race. I will miss him for sure, but that’s life and we move on and we live in the fast line.
“He’s going to a good home and he’s had a wonderful life and career and he’ll be taken care of wherever he goes.
“I haven’t ridden it that many times. I was beaten twice against him and I won three times against him. The first National was a little nag with the photo-finish but the second was wonderful. Today was wonderful. Every time you are applauded, it’s a special day.
Jack Kennedy, on Delta Work, said: “Everyone hates me now but I don’t care! I thought I was always going to really get there. A lot of people don’t like me now after that but I don’t really mind to be honest. After schooling him the other day, I told my brother that I might be the most hated man in Cheltenham on Wednesday night, and I was right.
“He’s been very disappointing all year but the switch to this cross-country race has rejuvenated him. All the schooling and everything was brilliant and I’m delighted.
“I thought the pitch was gone for Tiger Roll and I was surprised at how honest he was going to be, but I guess it was in the back of my head that he might not come up the hill as well as my boy about it. ground. I actually expected to take it a little easier, but my guy just crushed it in the end.
“Delta Work is after getting a new lease of life. He hasn’t traveled as well as he has traveled today and maybe he’s fed up, but it really brightened him up. I was disappointed yesterday as I had a great book of rides but now we are on set.
“He’s in the Grand National, and hopefully I’ll be over him. It has to be one of the highlights of my riding. I’ve always wanted to race a cross country race and this is my first race in one. It was amazing to ride a classy horse like him, to jump and travel. It was a big thrill. I’m thrilled.”
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