Late burst by Top Notch Tonto could spell Galway return

Top Notch Tonto ridden by Dale Swift (right) wins the betfred.com Superior Mile at Haydock Park
Top Notch Tonto ridden by Dale Swift (right) wins the betfred.com Superior Mile at Haydock Park
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TOP Notch Tonto could make a swift return at Galway on Sunday after Brian Ellison’s stable star was a fast-finishing second at the Irish track on Tuesday.

The ever popular horse, owned by Keith Brown of Swanland, is primed for Sunday’s feature handicap provided the gelding shows no ill-effects from his latest run.

Our Kylie ridden by Danny Mullins (right) before winning the Tote EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle ahead of Give Her Bach ridden by Pierce Gallagher (left) as The Conker Club ridden by Jonathan Moore takes a fall during day three of the Galway Festival in Ballybrit, Ireland.

Our Kylie ridden by Danny Mullins (right) before winning the Tote EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle ahead of Give Her Bach ridden by Pierce Gallagher (left) as The Conker Club ridden by Jonathan Moore takes a fall during day three of the Galway Festival in Ballybrit, Ireland.

Under young apprentice Oisin Orr, Top Notch Tonto overcame a wide draw before finishing with a flourish in the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap on the second day of the week-long festival of racing.

“Another 10 yards and he would have put it to bed,” lamented Brown. “I’m not grumbling. He won 22,000 euros. It was lovely to see him back in form.

“That said, he’s never been out of form – his last two races were just not run to suit. There was no pace and they became two furlong sprints.”

These are exciting times for Malton-based Ellison who recently saddled his 1,000th winner.

Equally proficient with jump and Flat horses, Ellison’s Our Kylie won Galway’s handicap hurdle yesterday under Danny Mullins.

Our Kylie avoided most of the casualties in an incident-packed race. “She was on the inside but moved out and missed the trouble,” said the winning trainer.

“She’s a very very tough mare and jumps well. She won on the Flat last week and made hard work of it, but that’s the way she is. She has improved a lot and is a nice mare.

“This looked tailor-made but it’s still difficult and you need a bit of luck.”