Dublin GAA fanatic and veteran racehorse trainer Peter Casey enjoyed a red letter day at Navan yesterday afternoon when his charge Jack The Bus gave owner Seamus Murphy one of his more memorable hours in racing.
Murphy's white colours with blue spots were prominent on both sides of the Irish Sea as Hello Bud claimed the feature Becher Chase in Aintree over the National fences for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies before Jack The Bus claimed the Troytown at Navan for the true Blue Casey.
To make the afternoon even sweeter for the charismatic Casey and his family-run operation, the trainer bred both winners and the bookmakers took no chances regarding their participation at Aintree in April, cutting both for the Grand National.
Jack The Bus fought out a thriller with the well backed Glenquest from the back of the final fence and got up to score by three parts of a length in the hands of Alan Crowe.
"I'll enter him in the Paddy Power now after that," Casey said of future plans for the 10-year-old, who has been desperately unlucky not to have more than five wins to his credit.
"He likes that really heavy ground and he jumped well, he only made one mistake today but that didn't bother him.
"He ran well in the Cork National and was entitled to run well here today but all the experts were going for Siegemaster!"
Siegemaster, incidentally, finished fourth under Davy Russell who switched from the absent Hangover, the sole non-runner of the €85,000 contest, and they put in a creditable effort under top weight.
At Aintree, it was an incident packed renewal of the Becher Chase with only seven completing the 3m2f journey of the Grand National fences.
They included the Irish duo of One Cool Cookie, who ran an eye-catching sort of race having been outpaced early but staying on well at the death to finish third -- albeit 11 lengths off the winner, and Notre Pere, who was never troubling the leaders and finished a well beaten fifth.
Oliver McKiernan's Whatuthink, the third Irish challenger in the race, crashed out at the first fence giving Paddy Mangan a horrible looking fall but he is reported to have escaped with only soft tissue damage to his face.