Hampton & Richmond manager Alan Devonshire may have lost out on leading his side into the Blue Square Premier this season, but one man is hoping he can lighten his mood within three minutes this weekend.

Racing fan Russell Trew named his three-year-old thoroughbred after his favourite player when he bought him for £50,000 in 2006.

Two years on and Devonshire's four-legged namesake, trained by Mark Tompkins, is preparing for the biggest race of his career when he lines up on the start line in the Epsom Derby on Saturday.

Trew's nag, a 250-1 outsider with William Hill, has four top-three finishes in his career thus far and enjoys a star studded following, including Hollywood film star Ray Winstone.

And the 50-year-old owner, a West Ham fan since the age of six, is hoping Devonshire the horse - which finished fourth at Lingfeld Park in May to qualify for the Derby - can match the player's ability to pull off a shock.

"Alan is one of the greatest players I've ever seen and he was always my favourite. He was a great winger and was capable of doing the unexpected," said Trew.

"He only won a handful of England caps, but I think he would have won more had he not had his career affected by injury.

"I've got a box in the Queen's Stand. There will be 45 of us getting a coach from Kent including former West Ham players Tony Cottee, Phil Parkes and Tony Gale.

"It is a dream to think I once watched these players as a kid and now they are coming with me to watch Alan Devonshire the horse at the Derby. Amazing.

"Alan had a bit of a disappointing end to his season as a manager, hopefully this will brighten him up a bit."

Trew has been good friends with Devonshire since meeting him at a West Ham United legends event and the 52-year-old Beavers boss has missed just one race the horse has run since making its debut outing.

Having named one horse after a past hero, Trew took the plunge by naming another after former Hammer Yossi Benayoun.

"It was a coincidence that Yossi was gelded in the same week the player left West Ham for Liverpool. Since then I'll only name horses after past players, because they won't let you down," added Trew.

Alan Devonshire finished fourth in its first race of the year to qualify for the Derby and has four top four finishes in its career thus far, including one win.

He will be up against the much-fancied Henrythenavigator, Casual Conquest and Curtain Call at the weekend in a field featuring seven Aiden O'Brien-trained mounts.

But trainer Tompkins, who names Bob's Return's St Ledger triumph in 1993 as the best of his 900+ winners, insists the dream will not die even if the horse fails at the famous Downs course.

"The Derby is everybody's dream. It is the pinnacle of anybody's career in the sport. It is a massive day," he said.