Davy Russell and Charles Byrnes celebrating their treble at Roscommon
By Tony O’Hehir 11:45AM 7 AUG 2016
MR SMITH, the middle leg of trainer Charles Byrnes’s much-publicised treble coup at Roscommon on Tuesday, is back in action at Downpatrick today when he faces 14 rivals in the Downpatrickracecourse.co.uk Handicap Hurdle over two and a quarter miles.
The five-year-old carries a 6lb penalty for his four-and-a-quarter length win over two and a half miles and Davy Russell, who rode all three Byrnes winners at Roscommon, is again on board.
The Roscommon coup, which also involved two other hurdle winners, War Anthem and Top Of The Town, is reputed to have taken the bookmakers for approximately €5 million.
Speaking on Saturday, Byrnes said: “The handicapper has forced our hand to run Mr Smith back so soon. He put him up 14lb for his Roscommon win, so with a 6lb penalty tomorrow we almost had to run.
“I would have preferred to run him in the 2m7f handicap, but it looked as if he wouldn’t get into that race.
“He seems to have come out of the Roscommon race well, but we’ll have to wait and see. He stood at the start at Roscommon and it briefly looked as if he mightn’t jump off, but all worked out well.”
Unplaced in five starts for John Gosden, Mr Smith, a son of Galileo, had failed to reach the first three in eight attempts over hurdles prior to his win on Tuesday, when he started 7-4 favourite after being available at 12-1 in the morning.