Trainer hopes to win the Grand National

By County Echo Reporter in Local People

NEWPORT-based Rebecca Curtis believes she can shock the racing world and become the first Welsh trainer since 1905 to win the Grand National on Saturday.

Four years after Teaforthree led over the last at Aintree only to fade to third place on the run-in, Ms Curtis is placing her faith on two runners coming in under the radar.

As she oversaw final preparations for O’Faolains Boy and Shantou Flyer at Fforest Farm Stables this week, the north Pembrokeshire trainer revealed she was drawing inspiration from the biggest shock in the race’s history exactly 50 years ago on Saturday.

On April 8, 1967, 100-1 outsider Foinavon went on to win after being the only horse to emerge from an horrendous pile-up at the 23rd fence.

“The Grand National is such a lottery that odds don’t mean anything and Foinavon is the most famous example of that,” Ms Curtis told the County Echo.

“O’Faolains Boy is said to be in poor form, but there are excuses. In his first race of the season at Ascot the field went off really fast and he just blew up.

“Then in his second race the ground was really soft and sticky and he had to be pulled up.

“But he’s a lovely horse with a very laid-back temperament who’s actually in much better shape than the formbook suggests.”

O’Faolains Boy was considered a good outside bet last year, only to go lame on the morning of the race.

“Two days later he was right as rain,” recalled the trainer. “Training racehorses can be really frustrating!”

Read the full story in this week’s County Echo, on sale now

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