Epsom Derby News: Forest fan Fellowes hoping to see wood from the trees with Grand Alliance

From Wembley Way to the Epsom Downs, Nottingham Forest fan and trainer of Grand Alliance, Charlie Fellowes, has come down from the Reds' promotion and now heads to the Epsom Derby on Saturday, June 4.

First up for avid Nottingham Forest fan Charlie Fellowes was the tricky trees' Championship Playoff Final at Wembley and now promotion to the Premier League has been won, he can return his attention to sending his Grand Alliance to the Epsom Derby.

Fellowes' three-year-old Churchill colt is a massive 100/1 for the Epsom Blue Riband but did finish second in the Epsom Derby trial behind Charlie Appleby's Nahanni.

Grand Alliance is owned by Paul and Susan Roy whose silks have been carried by St Leger winner Sixties Icon and the race has a local interest with Paul born in Surrey town Epsom.

"It's a completely new experience and we are going into it with a horse who has a few questions to answer. So we're not going in there with an awful lot of pressure on our shoulders, which I suppose is a nice thing, and if he goes and runs a really nice race we would be over the moon." said Fellowes.

"Paul Roy, who owns Grand Alliance with his wife Sue, was born and raised in Epsom. Paul was the son of a butcher in Epsom and was brought up at Tattenham Corner. His parents are buried just round the corner from the track and although he doesn't live there any longer, he's a regular visitor to Epsom, so for him it's particularly poignant to have a runner in the Derby."

Fellowes isn't put off by the 100/1 available for his charge.

"He was beaten a neck by Nahanni and had United Nations behind him, Nahanni is around the 16-1 to 20-1 mark, while we are out at 66-1," continued Fellowes.

"Now, he's trained by Charlie Appleby which is probably a very big reason why he is over half the price mine is, but he's very very solid, he runs his race every time and has improved with every run this year. He only ever does as much as he has to, so I don't really know what I've got left.

"There is a big question mark about his stamina. On pedigree he shouldn't be staying a mile and a half at all, but every single time he has run over a mile and a quarter he has looked, if anything, that he would improve for a step up in trip.

"At Doncaster and Epsom, both times he looked a little bit outpaced in the early parts of the race and then was strong as he could be at the finish and James (Doyle) said after the Derby trial he took an age to pull up and definitely didn't feel like he was stopping.

"He has to improve, we are very aware of that, he needs to step up as it's a proper race on Saturday. But we couldn't have had a better preparation, he's trained brilliantly for the six weeks since his last run and I know I couldn't have him going there any better. Whether that is good enough or not, we'll find out Saturday."

Fellowes will have to rest his voice if wanting to be delivering instructions to jockey Daniel Tudhope at Epsom after shouting himself a tad hoarse at Wembley watching Forest.

He said: "I was lucky enough to be at Wembley and although I was sober coming home, my voice has taken a real hammering! It was the most unbelievable day, very special. I've supported Nottingham Forest for a very long time and I've seen a lot of lows, so to be there and see us go up to the Premier League was incredible."

READ MORE: Five football fanatic horse racing trainers and who they support.

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