A Co Tipperary hotelier, who once owned Grand National winner Minella Times, was celebrating again at the weekend.
John Nallen (58), co-owner of the Minella Hotel in Clonmel, specialises in buying what he calls “rough diamonds” and turning them into winning horses.
Last month, one of his former charges, Minella Indo, won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Now he has done the double after Minella Times won the Aintree Grand National with Rachael Blackmore on board.
Both of the horses are called after the hotel he co-owns with his sister, Liz Bowen.
“We're very proud of the hotel and it's good to promote it, and we have some fun thinking of the names,” said Mr Nallen.
"The McManus family, they’re after supporting me so much and for them to win the National with him, I’m on cloud 77.
Mr Nallen told how he bought Minella Times from his Westmeath breeder Cathal Ennis at a Tattersalls sale in 2013 for €31,000.
He says he has found that the best method of making money out of horses is by preparing them to win at a young age from his base in Lavally – and then selling them on.