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West Away provides Kidd with first win over flights

West Away jumps the last ahead of ChampellaWest Away jumps the last ahead of Champella
© Photo Healy Racing

Dylan Kidd recorded his first winner over flights, as he guided West Away to victory in the Midsummer's Day With The Stars On Sunday 23rd June Handicap Hurdle.

Having made the breakthrough at Cork in December, the John McConnell-trained six-year-old filled the runner-up spot on his most recent outings at Tramore and Punchestown respectively.

Sent off a 9/2 chance this evening, the 116-rated victor was given a confident ride by Kidd, making steady headway from rear after four out.

He came with his challenge between horses on the approach to the penultimate obstacle and was soon pushed along to lead, readily stretching clear on the run-in and coming home four-and-a-quarter lengths to the good in the colours of the Rockview Racing Syndicate.

The front-running Champella (11/2 from 14s early) had to settle for second under Tom Harney for Ross O'Sullivan, while Ring O Roses (7/1) was another four-lengths away in third.

Sent off the well-backed 10/3 favourite (from 7s early), I Love My Baie finished fourth.

"We thought he would have been very close last time (in Punchestown) if he had winged the last," McConnell commented.

"It wasn't Dylan's fault or anything, the stride just wasn't there and I'd say the horse had never gone as fast in his life down to a hurdle.

"We thought it was a competitive race today but he got a lovely ride. I told him if he didn't get a good break early to take his time and ride his own race.

"Over that trip he has a little turn of trip. He's improving all the time and loves this good ground, he's much better on better ground.

"We were thinking of Cartmel, there is a good two-mile-six race there, or Galway could be on the agenda.

"He doesn't owe us anything. He's an improving horse and hopefully can keep going that way."

The winning rider had previously tasted success on the level when guiding Jungle Cove to victory in the valuable Nasrullah Handicap at Leopardstown in July of 2022.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

About Donal Murphy
Donal graduated from Maynooth University in 2010 with a BBS in Equine Business and since attained a diploma in Sports Journalism from Dublin Business School. He holds a variety of roles in the horse racing industry, reporting for the Press Association and p2p.ie, while also working for SIS and the Tote. From Wexford, he is a keen runner and has completed over 100 parkruns at various locations around the country.