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Grade 3 Down Royal double for Elliott

3 minute read

Gordon Elliott achieved a Grade 3 double at Down Royal on Friday afternoon, with Brighterdaysahead taking the Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle and Irish Point successful in the Bottlegreen Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott.
Gordon Elliott. Picture: PA

The pair were part of a five-timer on the card for the Gordon Elliott team.

Brighterdaysahead returned after the summer break with an impressive ten length success on hurdling debut at Thurles and added to her unbeaten tally in the Grade 3 Feathard Lady Mares Novice Hurdle. Ridden by Jack Kennedy, she overcame a messy round of jumping to score by nearly five lengths ahead of Banntown Girl with Williamstowndancer back in third.

"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 [Jack Kennedy] said he was very happy with her," said Elliott.

"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 and see. She has got the pace for two miles.

"I think we will keep her in her own category at the moment."

Stablemate Irish Point added to the haul when extending his winning streak to three in the Group 3 Bottlegreen Hurdle, a first try in open company. He was forced to concede thirteen pounds to the second-placed Magical Zoe but took the lead before the second-last flight and kept on well to secure a one-and-three-quarter length victory.

"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."

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