The Fergal O'Brien yard is buzzing about Alvarado

Fossebridge Fergal O'Brien who trains Grand National hope Alvarado

Fossebridge Fergal O'Brien who trains Grand National hope Alvarado

First published in Sport Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by

IT FEELS like no time at all since the Cheltenham Festival last month, but today is the start of the brilliant Crabbie’s Grand National meeting at Aintree racecourse, writes Conor Shoemark.

It’s always an exciting few days, you get to see some of the Festival horses coming out again, the likes of The New One, who was unlucky in the Champion Hurdle as well as Cheltenham winners Dynaste and More Of That, among others.

Then, of course, there’s the big one on Saturday. The yard is buzzing as Fergal (O’Brien) has Alvarado in the Grand National, all being well.

Alvarado is a horse I ride every day and have come to love his quirky nature. He’s extremely talented with a huge character.

He’s owned by Angela and William Rucker, who have had a placed horse in the National for the last five years.

Ultimately, it’s a race I’d love to ride in one day; this year I’ll be watching on the TV, with fingers crossed that Alvarado has what it takes and can bring the million pound prize home to Fossebridge!

I’ve had a few rides around the country over the past couple of weeks. I had six in one day for the very first time last week at Towcester.

It was good to get a full book of rides, now I know what it’s like for the top jockeys who do this day in day out.

The concentration and fitness you need is so important. It’s great to get a flavour of this to spur you on, and to keep pushing for those rides.

The People’s Horse in our yard, Gud Day, recently ran at Chepstow in a handicap chase, but he just faded slightly in the final couple of furlongs.

The likelihood is that he’ll have a few weeks ticking over at home and will be aimed for another race at the end of April.

If you’re keen to experience racehorse ownership for the very first time then follow him @peopleshorse on Twitter for the chance to win owner’s badges for the day.

Conor Shoemark is sponsored by Agetur UK.

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