Troytown joy for Casey's Bus
Jack The Bus capped a memorable day for owner Seamus Murphy and trainer Peter Casey with success in yesterday's Ladbrokes.com Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan.
Having had his colours carried to glory in the Becher Chase at Aintree by Hello Bud, Murphy's special double was completed as Jack The Bus outpointed Glenquest in a hard-fought finish. Both Hello Bud and Jack The Bus were bred by Casey.
Alan Crowe brought the 10-year-old gelding on to the scene at the second-last but Glenquest made him fight every inch of the way.
There was little between them over the last two fences but Jack The Bus proved the stronger to win by three-quarters of a length, with Lochan Lacha third and Siegemaster fourth.
"Jack The Bus ran well in the Cork National the last day and was entitled to have a big chance here," said Casey. "He made one bad mistake but it had little effect on him.
"He wants really heavy ground and I'll have to enter him for Leopardstown over Christmas."
Fully Funded (6/1) was a gutsy all-the-way winner of the Friends of Navan 'Monksfield' Novice Hurdle.
Noel Meade's five-year-old looked like having to settle for second when Ballyburke ranged alongside two out, but Fully Funded found extra for Davy Condon to win from Gift Of Dgab, which made good late progress to snatch second place.
"I fancied him today and told the lads (More The Merrier Syndicate) that he'd win," said Meade. "He may come back for the Grade One Navan Novice Hurdle here next."
Willie Mullins suffered a blow when his Fionnegas had to be put down after falling at the first in the beginners chase, which went to the Arthur Moore-trained Lastoftheleaders under Barry Geraghty.
The champion trainer had better luck in the two-mile maiden hurdle as his well-backed Gagewell Flyer made all under Paul Townend for a snug success from the staying-on Buck Barrow.
"I was surprised by that win as I was afraid the trip (two miles) was on the short side for him," said Mullins. "We were going to send him chasing, but I will chat with his owners and may decide to stay hurdling. Staying distances should suit him better and he should be better on better ground."
Favourite backers got off to a good start when the Charles O'Brien-trained Apache Drums landed the opening juvenile hurdle under Mark Walsh, while Eddie Hales' Catcherinscratcher benefited from Kevin Power's determined handling to capture the concluding ITBA Fillies EBF Mares INH Flat Race.