Trainer Mouse Morris is more than happy to give Rachael Blackmore the leg up on Alpha Des Obeaux in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned eight-year-old won the Clonmel Oil Chase in the autumn and was last seen finishing sixth under Blackmore in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in early February.
Morris, who won the 2016 Grand National with Rule The World, has intentionally kept Alpha Des Obeaux fresh since and is keeping his fingers crossed he can give last season’s champion Irish conditional jockey a good spin on her debut ride in the world’s most famous steeplechase.
Morris said: “Rachael has been lucky for us and she’s a very good pilot. We’re delighted to have her on board.
“He (Alpha Des Obeaux) is a Grade Two winner over fences and he’s going into the race fresh. I think he’s at his best when he’s fresh.
“The National is the National, but hopefully he has a chance.”
Alpha Des Obeaux might not be Morris’ only runner in the Aintree spectacular, with the trainer confirming Thunder And Roses a likely contender should he make the cut.
The 10-year-old, who fell at the seventh fence in the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday, is currently 49th in the order of entry.
“That’s the plan at the moment. Whether it comes off is another thing,” he added.
Nick Scholfield will ride Aintree regular Maggio in the Grand National.
The 13-year-old chaser, trained by Patrick Griffin, has yet to compete in the big race itself, but will be having a sixth outing on Merseyside.
James Griffin, the County Dublin trainer’s son and assistant, said: “I’ve known Nick for a long time and he has ridden for us before.
“Maggio is very well. He schooled over fences over two and a half miles at Thurles (on Wednesday).
“I rode him and I was absolutely delighted. It’s now all systems go for the National.”
Maggio is owned by Douglas Pryde and James Beaumont, who won the National with Auroras Encore in 2013.