Philip Dempsey is dreaming of a tilt at Grand National glory with Mr Diablo following his excellent effort in Sunday’s Troytown Chase at Navan.
The nine-year-old’s racing career looked to be over after he suffered a serious injury when running at Killarney in May of last year.
However, he returned to the track with a run over hurdles at Naas earlier in the month and confirmed much of his ability remains intact when finishing second behind Noel Meade’s Tout Est Permis in Navan’s 100,000 euros feature over the weekend.
Dempsey said: “He shattered his carpal bone in Killarney last year and it looked like the end of the road for him. Ger Kelly in Fethard (Equine Hospital) nursed him back and to see him run like he did on Sunday was brilliant – we were delighted with him.
“We weren’t too sure what to expect when we ran him in Naas, but he came out of it bouncing and he’d been showing his old sparkle at home.
“He would have been a very good winner of the Troytown but for the winner and he’s come out of the race good and sound.”
A trip to Leopardstown could be next on Mr Diablo’s agenda.
Dempsey added: “I’d imagine we’ll aim towards the Paddy Power Chase in Leopardstown over Christmas as long as the ground isn’t too heavy and it would be nice to think he could be a National horse.
“He ran in the Topham (in 2017) and took to the fences well. He just never ate or drank when he was over there, but he ran well for a long way.
“It would be great to have a go at the National with him, but we’ll take it one race at a time and see how we go.”