Frisky pensioner Peter is at it again as Flemenstar romps home
IT was the horse that everyone had come to see -- and of course the diminutive trainer and internet sensation might have added to the attraction.
Even the crowd were aware of what might now be in store for grandfather Peter Casey (77) from north Co Dublin, when the hotly-touted Flemenstar romped home to a decisive win in the Powers Gold Cup, on the first day of the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse in Co Meath.
"You'll have sex tonight and everything," quipped a cheekily smiling racegoer, leaning over the winner's enclosure, in a reference to his now infamous interview with RTE's Tracy Piggott after the horse won at Leopardstown.
"At 12 o'clock tonight you know where I'll be," joked the frisky pensioner, who was celebrating his golden wedding anniversary with his wife Junie at Easter.
"That was not good for my heart," quipped the man who had a triple bypass at Christmas, clutching his chest, as delighted jockey Andrew Lynch unsaddled the stable's star.
"Now be careful what you say," Ms Piggott warned with a laugh as she once again went live on air with the saucy septuagenarian.
"There'll be some sex tonight if I'm able for it. I can tell you that," Mr Casey later quipped.
"The wife wouldn't come -- she's waiting on me getting the bed ready," he chirped at the stables outside Stamullen on the Meath/Dublin border, where they also farm sheep.
"We're on our way now to Cheltenham, next year please God. I might not be here, but someone will be here to bring him."
The seven-year-old horse will now have a well-deserved break with his owner, builder Stephen Curran, from Dunsany, Co Meath.
Mr Curran, who was planning celebrations in the County Club in Dunshaughlin last night, has already turned down a six figure sum for a half-share in the horse.
The competition was also fierce in the Easter Bonnet stakes, won by four-and-a-half year old Alexandria Byrne, from nearby Ratoath, a granddaughter of Fairyhouse chairman and former Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne.
Her parents, Detective Garda Michael Byrne and Moldova native Natalia, who runs the firm Accord Translations, revealed they married after meeting in the unlikely setting of Dublin's Store Street garda station when she was called in as an interpreter.
"It was love at first sight," quipped the Immigration Bureau officer, "(but) if she misbehaves she's going home."
Amid jokes of a fix, he laughed: "We're told it was 100pc independent."
It was a good omen for the punters as the first race of the day went to the favourite, the Dessie Hughes-trained Simon Gray, with AP McCoy aboard in the famous colours of JP McManus.
"We're happy to get the two winners," said Kieran McManus, JP's son who was representing the famous businessman, after their colours were once again carried to victory with the Jessica Harrington-trained Jenari in the Coolmore Novice Hurdle.
JP's daughter-in-law, Anne-Marie McManus, dressed in a fuchsia pink LK Bennett dress, was chatting with the trainer's daughter Kate Harrington, who was sporting 30 stitches across her right eye following a fall the previous weekend.
"I was riding Rescue Man; it was his first time out. I'm grand," she said. "I hope to be back riding shortly."
It was the turn of lesser-known colours to grace the winner's enclosure after the Mares Novices Hurdle when Westmeath County Council engineer Sean Reilly's Shadow Eile nabbed the race, under newly engaged jockey Andrew McNamara, who popped the question to Rhona Healy last week.
"I'm speechless. It is our biggest success so far since I'd sold the previous horse. He went to Cheltenham," said Sean, from Glascorn, just outside Mullingar. "I bred her myself. We'd a few pound on her, too."
"I've been speaking to Met Eireann more than my wife," quipped Fairyhouse general manager Peter Roe, who has been watering the track in the run-in to the festival.
Racegoers splurged €520,000 at the on-track bookies compared with €639,000 last year, and a further €195,000 at the Tote, up from €187,000 last year.
More than 7,860 attended yesterday with more than 15,000 expected to enjoy the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National today.