Yeats was responsible for a pair of winners who looked to have bright futures at Punchestown on Wednesday.
First up, J P McManus’s four-year-old Spades Are Trumps (4g Yeats-Sway, by Califet) came out best in what looked an ultra-competitive 22-runner maiden hurdle.
The Gavin Cromwell-trained gelding, bred by the owner’s wife Noreen, put in an impressive jumping display to score under Barry Geraghty.
“He’s progressed well from his first start at Wexford and was entitled to run well although the favourite (runner-up Paloma Blue) was obviously a big danger,” said Cromwell. “I’ll have a chat with the lads and see where we go from here.”
There was a poignant winner shortly afterwards when the Edward O’Grady-trained The West’s Awake (6g Yeats-Bilboa, by Phantom Breeze) won the feature novice chase in the colours of Sue Magnier (pictured).
O’Grady’s wife Maria tragically lost her life at the weekend and winning rider Andrew Lynch reflected: “Mr O’Grady wasn’t sure that The West’s Awake would handle the ground but he picked up well. He’s at home today I think and hopefully it will give him a big lift.”
The West’s Awake, now a three-time winner over fences, was bred by Kenilworth House Stud and sold for €60,000 as a foal.