Poignant winner for O’Grady following tragic weekend

Edward O'Grady is mourning the loss of his wife Maria

There was no more fitting winner at an Irish race meeting for quite some time than that of The West's Awake in the Betdaq Rated Novice Chase at Punchestown on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the first runner sent out by Ballynonty trainer Edward O'Grady since the tragic death of his wife Maria in a hunting accident last Saturday.

An almost unconsidered 16-1 shot in a five-runner field, he kept finding for Andrew Lynch all the way up the straight to prevail by upwards of three-and-three-quarter lengths from market leaders Woods Well and Tout Est Permis.

Lynch said: "I was talking to him the other day and I didn’t think he’d run. Mr O’Grady wasn’t sure whether he’d handle the ground but he picked up well.

"He’s at home obviously, it’s nice, it should give him a big lift."

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