Gary Moore was left reflecting on perhaps the greatest afternoon of his training career after the heavily backed Well Refreshed completed a major across-the-card double with victory in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock.
Although one of the most respected dual-purpose handlers in the land, Moore is not a regular winner of the big Saturday prizes and was understandably thrilled after claiming two big pots at different ends of the country.
Stable stalwart Vino Griego landed a few hefty bets when winning at Ascot under the trainer's son Jamie, and less than half an hour later, his younger brother and conditional jockey Joshua rode the biggest winner of his burgeoning career on Merseyside.
Having opened up at 6-1 on track, Well Refreshed was sent off the 9-2 favourite for the three-and-a-half-mile feature and Moore was sensibly in no hurry. The recent Lingfield and Plumpton winner began to creep into contention leaving the back straight.
The nine-year-old swept by the well fancied Rigadin De Beauchene at the second-last and although he gave the final obstacle a real belt, he got away with the mistake to seal a 10-length verdict.
Rigadin De Beauchene ran perfectly well to fill the runner-up spot, with Welsh National hero Monbeg Dude running a remarkable race to finish third having been out with the washing at the top of the straight.
Speaking from Ascot, the winning trainer said: "It's not a huge surprise as we did think he had a great chance. You think you're dreaming sometimes and this is the best day I've had for ages, forever probably. This might be his last run of the season, as the ground will go against him."
None of the first three are even entered in this year's Grand National, but asked about a possible tilt at the Aintree spectacular in April 2014, Moore said: "Maybe, you never know."
The winning rider, more used to seeing his other brother and three-time champion Flat jockey Ryan Moore in the headlines, said: "It's great for the yard to have two big winners and we were keen on them both, especially this lad, who has been mapped out for this race.
"He's not been a natural jumper. He's a bit gangly and probably has more ribs than he should, but he has improved and it's just about trying to get him into a rhythm. Thankfully we got away with it at the last. It's my biggest winner and a great day for all the team at home."
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