THERE is big Worcestershire interest ahead of the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

Himbleton’s William and Angela Rucker hope to continue their run of fielding a placed horse in the major race for the last five years.

They own nine-year-old Alvarado with Gloucestershire trainer Fergal O’Brien provisionally recruiting Paddy Brennan as regular jockey Paul Moloney is unavailable.

O’Brien said: “There’s not been any problems since his last run. All we’ve done is freshen him up at home with this in mind.”

Pineau De Re turned in a fine effort at the Cheltenham Festival for Claines trainer Dr Richard Newland when third in the Pertemps Final and will be partnered for the first time by Leighton Aspell.

Newland said: “Leighton finished second in the National (Supreme Glory in 2003) and has schooled him over the Grand National fences already. Pineau has done all of his major work now so it’s just a case of keeping him cantering away.”

Alvarado is priced at 33-1 by many bookmakers, while Pineau De Re comes in at 20-1.