Peter Maher

When asked his profession Peter Maher simply replied “horses”. The trainer admits he’s happy to turn his hand to “anything that turns a buck” – breaking horses, training for point-to-points and buying and selling.

Maher has 10 horses in training at Ashfield Stud and among them is stable star Big Shu, winner of the 2013 Glenfarclas Handicap Chase. Big Shu returned to have another crack at the race in 2014 but could only finish in third place behind two other Grand National entrants, Balthazar King and Any Currency.

Big Shu is expected to head to Aintree for a tilt at the big one on April 5th. Family connections to the race stretch back to the 1960s when Maher’s Grandfather was involved in the sires of winners L’Escargot and Team Spirit.

The trainer has remained confident about his horse’s chance in the run up to Aintree saying: “Big Shu has class. He’s big, he’s brave, he’s strong and he’s got both speed and stamina which is unusual.

“If he was trained by Willie Mullins he would be taken very seriously because he’s as good as anything out there.”