Alvarado set for Ayr return

Alvarado, runner-up in last season's Coral Scottish Grand National, will aim to go one better this spring despite a below-par run at Musselburgh.

The 12-year-old stayed on well to get within two and three-quarter lengths of Vicente in the Ayr marathon in 2016 after failing to make the cut for the Grand National at Aintree.

It now looks as though Ayr is the option again after Alvarado was only sixth to Dancing Shadow in the Edinburgh National when sent off favourite.

"He didn't run too badly. I was disappointed as he was favourite but he didn't handle the track and that was our one big worry going there," said trainer Fergal O'Brien.

"He ran worse than that at Newbury last season and came back again. He was only beaten 20 lengths, but he just never got into a rhythm.

"He missed the first in the straight every time. The Scottish National is where we intend to go for now."

Lord Of The Island was a good winner for O'Brien at Sandown last weekend and is likely to return to the Esher track next month after only being put up 6lb to a rating of 135.

"He is very well. He was only a cheap purchase and he has been great for us," said O'Brien.

"The handicapper has been quite kind and he could go back to Sandown on Imperial Cup day for a 0-135.

"He would have to carry top weight, but that would be fine. If not, he might go to Kempton on the Saturday after Cheltenham."

Read More at Sporting Life

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