Iron WA horse Dom To Shoot denied Sydney star Zaaki in a heart-stopping finish to the $1.5 million Group 1 Northerly Stakes (1800m) at Ascot on Saturday. Father-son co-trainers Sean and Jake Casey were overcome with emotion when tasting the Group 1 success they thought would never happen for the first time along with comeback jockey Jarrad Noske. Named after West Coast star Dom Sheed’s winning goal in the 2018 AFL grand final, Dom To Shoot ($21) ran on strongly to nail the $2.60 favourite Zaaki on the line by a short half-head. Four-time Group 1 winner Zaaki settled second and shot to the lead at the top of the straight for star jockey James McDonald, only to be edged by one of the barest of margins. Three-year-old Zipaway ($18) was a further short half-head behind in third in the three-way photo. Jake Casey, who turned to training after riding more than 150 winners in his four years as a jockey, celebrated his 26th birthday in style with the Northerly victory. “It’s unreal,” Jake said. “I can’t believe it. What a horse he’s been for us. To cap it off with this is fantastic. “He (Noske) rode it perfectly, he got a clear run through. “When you’re chasing a horse like Zaaki, you can never be too confident. It’s unbelievable.” Sean Casey, also a former jockey turned trainer who has been a stalwart of WA racing for decades, thought a Group 1 victory would always elude him. “To be quite honest, I didn’t think it would ever happen,” Sean said. “It’s a really big thrill. Can’t believe it. “The horse is just a super horse.” Noske, a dual Perth Cup winner known for riding champion Black Caviar to his first two wins in Melbourne, capped his comeback to race riding in style. Weight problems forced Noske to turn his hand to breaking in and training a small team of gallopers, but the 31-year-old made a return to full-time riding in February. “I never thought this would happen. I have to pinch myself a bit,” Noske said. Noske settled Dom To Shoot seventh on the inside rail and hooked him into the clear on the turn to launch what would be his winning run. He picked up the ride after the Shooting To Win gelding stormed home from near last for an eye-catching third to Bustler in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m). “I didn’t think it (barrier one) was the best barrier for him, but I got a dream run,” Noske said. “I was quite happy when the horses in front of me were Bustler, Stevie (Parnham, rider of Zipaway) and Zaaki and I got out when I needed to. Noske joined his former jockey father Jeff as a Group 1 winner. Owner-breeder Wally Daly has a long history of success in Australian racing and added to his big race haul with Dom To Shoot. Daly’s brother George was a prominent Ascot trainer for decades before losing his battle with illness in 2020. They raced a host of top gallopers together, including Railway winner Jacks Or Better and dual Group 1 winner Vega Magic. Wally Daly said Dom To Shoot’s fall in the Perth Cup last January, when he hit the turf after galloping into the fallen Chili Is Hot, had somehow sparked his career-best form. “I don’t know what happened in the Perth Cup, but as you know he was flattened and got up and ran around by himself,” Daly said. “Two weeks later he ran fourth in the (re-run of the) Perth Cup and since then, he’s never stopped galloping so well and improving. “I don’t know what that says for chiropractors and so forth, maybe it’s done some good.” Sean Casey recalled the story of naming Dom To Shoot after Sheed’s famous goal. “We couldn’t think of a name and I said to Wally ‘what’s the best shot you’ve ever seen?’,” he said. “He said Dom Sheed’s goal in the grand final, so I said ‘what about Dom To Shoot?’. “It sounds pretty good now.” Six-year-old Dom To Shoot has now won eight of 40 starts and $1.92m in prizemoney.