Casey hoping for a big run from Max Dynamite
Longines Hong Kong Vase
Victory in Sunday's Longines Hong Kong Vase over 2,400m would be especially sweet for Irishman David Casey, who's entrusted with looking after Max Dynamite, in Hong Kong, for trainer Willie Mullins.
Casey has spent most of his working life with the County Carlow trainer, first as a highly accomplished jumps jockey and more recently as an assistant to the trainer, which has seen him travel Max Dynamite not only to Hong Kong but also to two Melbourne Cups in Australia.
Casey retired from jumps riding on Sept 16, 2015 and just a week later was accompanying Max Dynamite to Melbourne where he was to finish an unlucky second, beaten a half-length, in Australia's most famous race.
"It was all very quick. I literally headed to Melbourne a week after my last ride but I'd known about it for some time. Willie had told me there was a job for me, given I knew his system, whenever I chose to retire," Casey said.
Described by Mullins as an outstanding judge of a horse and an asset to the stable, Casey had great success as a jockey, winning several feature races in England, Ireland and France, including Cheltenham festival victories and two French Champion Hurdles.
He also rode in America, Japan and Australia; competing in International Jockeys Series in the last two named countries, and rode winners at Morphettville and Sandown in Australia.
"I think I rode 40 or 50 winners on the flat and about 800 over the jumps."
But that's all behind him and, for now, he is simply looking forward to Sunday's challenge. "The horse is fit and well.
"It's not going to be an easy task on Sunday but he's done well and if he could pick up some prize money, that would be grand," Casey said of Max Dynamite, who was third in this year's Melbourne Cup which was run at Flemington last month. - HKJC