Charlie Fellowes' Grand Alliance being readied for Epsom Derby battle

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Charlie Fellows is hoping his Churchill colt Grand Alliance can prove statesmanlike enough to go for the Epsom Derby. The three-year old looks to be progressing well and finished a solid second in last week's Blue Riband Trial at Epsom. Only Godolphin's promising Nahanni was one to good, finishing just half a length in front of Grand Alliance. The Bedford House Stables team will now start the long prep work to ready Grand Alliance for the primary English classic at Epsom. "He has taken the race really well. He's a straight-forward horse, he's a bit of a cheeky chap, but to train he's pretty easy," said Fellowes. "We put him in for the Derby at the second entry stage and at the moment the plan will be to head straight there without another run." Fellowes is a big believer in getting Grand Alliance racecourse experience, sending him out regularly to run in front of punters. "He never ran on turf last year, so he never really got a break over the winter. He ran late December and then all the way through January, February and March and now April," continued the trainer. "He's had five runs so I don't think there's any need to go and run him again in another trial. He's got plenty of experience now, he's an easy horse to get fit, we know he's been round Epsom and handles the track. "If you want to entertain running in a Derby, then you've got to focus your efforts on getting him prepared for Epsom in the first weekend in June. We've been delighted with how he's progressed this year and he's a really likeable tough horse." Grand Alliance appears to have everything in his locker to take on the Derby with only a slight question mark over stamina but Fellowes isn't too concerned. "I actually think he'll improve for a little bit of dig in the ground, even though he's proven at both Doncaster and Epsom he handles quick ground no problem. "The one big question is what he's going to think of the step up in trip. On pedigree, very little of the family have stayed further than a mile, so he's already bucked that trend. "Whether he'll stay a mile and a half remains to be seem, but he definitely wasn't stopping at Epsom the other day and James (Doyle) said he struggled to pull him up, so there's a real chance he could stay further than a mile and a quarter."

The article Charlie Fellowes' Grand Alliance being readied for Epsom Derby battle appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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