David Casey hails from Co. Waterford, Ireland and began his riding career in 1992 as an apprentice to the Flat trainer, Tony Redmond.
However, he was always going to be a National Hunt jockey and his first racecourse win came in a claiming hurdle for Willie Mullins on If You Say Yes in early 1995, in a partnership that has stood the test of time and continues to go strong even today.
In 1998 he began what would be a profitable partnership with the Willie Mullins-trained Micko’s Dream during the early part of that horse’s career. He won on him on no less than six occasions in a year, with the pick of those wins coming in the Grade 3 EBF Novice Handicap Chase at Navan in March 1999.
It was in 2002, just over seven years after riding his first winner, that Casey would break his duck at the Cheltenham Festival. The race was the Grand Annual Handicap Chase and the horse was the Arthur Moore-trained Fadoudal Du Cochet. Casey gave the horse a power-packed ride that gained him deserved praise from the pundits and public alike.
Another Willie Mullins’ horse that has served David Casey well in recent years is Hedgehunter. His first ride on Trevor Hemmings’ gelding saw him finish fourth in the 2003 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, but the pair gained compensation six weeks later when prevailing in the Thyestes Chase. Following that win, Mullins put him away until the Aintree Grand National and in that event he gave Casey the ride of his life only to fall at the very last fence when in a close third.
He went into the 2005 Grand National as a clear favourite but unfortunately Casey was not on board that day as he tragically sustained a serious neck injury just two weeks before the Aintree showcase. Watching Hedgehunter come home no less than 14 lengths clear of his nearest pursuer with Ruby Walsh in the plate must have been devastating for Casey.
It wasn’t until the 2007/8 that Casey managed to avoid serious injury and as a result, got more rides and rode more winners than he had since 2003/4. At the backend of the season, Casey came close to two notable successes on the Willie Mullins-trained Snowy Morning, finishing a close third in the 2008 Aintree Grand National prior to finishing second in the Guinness Gold Cup at the Punchestown Festival.
He also rode Offshore Account in the 2009 Grand National when he finished 15th, and was re-paired with old favourite Snowy Morning once again in the 2010 Grand National when he finished 6th. The 2011 Grand national was disappointing for Casey as he went into it with ante-post favourite and Willie Mullins trained, Arbor Supreme (20/1) but fell at the 28th, just two fences from home.
In the 2012 Grand National, Casey rode the 8 year old Quiscover Fontaine for Mullins but fell at the 17th fence and was back again in 2013 and this time got him around the course but could only manage 16th spot.