Sensational six-timer for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal

Gordon Elliott dominated on the first day of Down Royal’s big meeting, saddling six of the seven winners.

Elliott is currently leading the trainers’ championship, with jockeys’ title frontrunner Jack Kennedy enhancing his tally by riding four of the victors.

“I am lucky to be in the position I am in with the horses that I have and the staff, the owners and the jockeys,” said Elliott.

“It is not easy to do it (send out six winners on a card) – a brilliant day.”

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The highlight was arguably Brighterdaysahead, who maintained her unbeaten record by winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle.

Stepped into Grade Three company after winning easily at Thurles on her debut, she was taking on much more experienced rivals.

However, she loomed up alongside Banntown Girl at the second last and while she needed to be driven out to win by four and three-quarter lengths, the 2-1 favourite will have learned plenty.

Elliott said: “It happened that quick for the first mile that she didn’t know what she was doing as they were going that fast but, once she got into her rhythm, he (Kennedy) said he was very happy with her.

“She has no experience, but she has a fair engine. She’s a proper mare and she still has a lot to learn, she is still very green. The rest of the field has two or three runs over hurdles, so I thought it was a good performance.

“No (need to go beyond two miles), but I’d say she will be better when she goes (further). I’d say she is a mare that could definitely step up in trip. She hasn’t put a foot wrong so far, so she is exciting.

“She is in the Royal Bond and obviously I will talk to Michael and Eddie (O’Leary of Gigginstown House Stud) and see. She has got the pace for two miles.

“I think we will keep her in her own category (mares) at the moment.”

Irish Point with winning connections
Irish Point with winning connections (PA)

Irish Point (5-6 favourite) won the other feature race on the card for Elliott and Kennedy, the Bottlegreen Hurdle.

A Grade One winner at Aintree, he was giving lumps of weight to a smart mare in Magical Zoe but try as she might, she could not get by and went down by a length and three-quarters.

“We know he wants further, but he picked up and galloped. We are very happy with him,” said Elliott.

“He (Kennedy) was in the right spot and he kicked at the right time and made plenty of use of him.

“We didn’t want to make it, but we had to because there was nothing else to make it. I’d say we will definitely step him up in trip. He really stays.

“We will keep all options open, but it wouldn’t shock me if you saw him going three miles at some stage.”

The pair were also on the mark earlier on the card with Hunting Brook (5-4 favourite) in the Lough Construction Ltd. Handicap Hurdle, while Jordan Gainford took advantage of Kennedy’s fall in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle to win on stablemate Zefiro Dodville (12-1).

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Found A Fifty made it five on the day for Elliott and four for Kennedy in the Eventco Marquees Ltd. Beginners Chase.

Found A Fifty returns victorious
Found A Fifty returns victorious (PA)

“He’s a good horse. He got very revved up last year and just blew his top, but Jack was delighted with the way he settled there,” said Elliott.

“I like the way he quickened as well down the straight, he quickened well.

“He’s in the Drinmore, but we’ll see where we go.”

Firefox (1-6 favourite) then landed the concluding Freixenet INH Flat Race under Harry Swan.

The only race to escape Elliott’s clutches was the Try Racing TV For Free Now At Handicap Chase, in which he had three runners but went to Edward Cawley’s Dont Go Yet (18-1) who made all.

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