Hammers get Grand National fever

West Ham United will head to Liverpool on Saturday ahead of their Barclays Premier League fixture the Reds the following day, but not in time to see how their horses fare in the 2013 John Smith's Grand National.

Like any workplace in the country, the Hammers' Chadwell Heath training ground has been swept with Grand National fever ahead of the big race at Aintree.

Kit manager Pete Williams was the man in charge of the sweepstake, with the players, coaches and backroom staff enthusiastically picking envelopes containing the names of the 40 horses taking part.

Keen horse racing fan Joey O'Brien enjoyed the luck of the Irish by pulling out 15/2 favourite On His Own, which will be ridden by the full-back's compatriot and two-time Grand National winner Ruby Walsh.

Second-favourite Seabass was pulled out by groundsman Ross Shorey, while third-favourite Colbert Station was picked by in-form midfielder Gary O'Neil.

Striker Marouane Chamakh was unfortunate enough to select the envelope containing 150/1 rank outsider Mumbles Head. The Moroccan will hope for better luck with his other selection - 50/1 shot What A Friend.

Of the other players, captain Kevin Nolan has 2011 winner Ballabriggs, Winston Reid has 11/1 shot Cappa Bleu and Raphael Spiegel is on 14/1 chance Chicago Grey.

Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen will hope to avoid a Major Malarkey an Anfield, despite that being the name of one of his two Grand National horses - the other being 66/1-rated Tatenen.

Fittingly for a man who scored in the final seconds in the 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Chelsea in December, forward Modibo Maiga picked out Ninetieth Minute.

Jack Collison's luck is riding on 100/1 shot Tarquinius, while Mohamed Diame's money is with 80/1 chance Mr Moonshine and Matt Jarvis will be hoping to cash in on 80/1 outsider Any Currency.

The tape will go up at the 2013 John Smith's Grand National at Aintree at 4.15pm on Saturday. The big race will be screened live by Channel 4.

Grand National

West Ham United's 2013 John Smith's Grand National sweepstake