Byrnes guides home big-priced winner at Down Royal

Don't Go Yet (no.5) and Phillip Byrnes winning the 2m handicap chase. Down Royal. Photo: Patrick McCann.

BALLINGARRY jockey Philip Byrnes and owner/trainer Edward Cawley broke the Gordon Elliott stranglehold on day one of the Down Royal Festival with their success of Don’t Go Yet (18/1) in the two-mile handicap chase.

Elliott won the remaining six races on the card but his Irish Blaze could only look on from third place as Don’t Go Yet, in Cawley’s own colours, got the better of the Ross OSullivan-trained Bythesametoken by half a length.

The following afternoon, Athea trainer Eoin McCarthy won the concluding bumper with the Johnny Barry-ridden Big Dee.

Owned by Seán Maguire, the 15/2 chance skipped a few lengths clear early inside the final furlong and had plenty in hand as he beat Gordon Elliott’s 4/5 favourite Cleatus Poolaw by four lengths, a rare reversal for Elliott who won 11 of the 14 races at the track’s big two-day meeting.