Norton trainer Brian Ellison thrilled after runner-up spot for Top Notch Tonto at Ebor Festival

Top Notch Tonto

Top Notch Tonto

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BRIAN ELLISON is thrilled Top Notch Tonto is “back” in business – despite his stable star being robbed with victory in his grasp at the conclusion of the Clipper Logistics Stakes at the Ebor Festival.

On Knavesmire ground faster than he would have liked, and after failing to be at his best so far this season, the four-year-old looked the sure-fire winner of the £80,000 race after grinding his way to the front in the mile contest.

But starting to tread water as the line approached, the Norton trainer could only watch on from the parade ring as jockey Pat Smullen, on board Short Squeeze (8-1) came with a superbly timed run to nab the spoils by a head.

Ellison was sanguine following the narrow loss and said of his 16-1 shot: “It was a brilliant run on that ground. He is back. I knew we had got him back from the way he was on the gallops. He has been singing on the gallops.

“We will go to the Curragh now. There is a £200,000 race there next month and we will go as long as it is not too fast."

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