Blow for Ellison as star pair ruled out for season

The popular Top Notch Tonto is expected to make a full recovery

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Blow for Ellison as star pair ruled out for season
By Mark Scully 1:00PM 20 AUG 2016

BRIAN ELLISON has been dealt a major blow heading into the closing stages of the Flat campaign, with both Top Notch Tonto and Balty Boys, two of his stable stars, ruled out for the remainder of the season.

The popular Top Notch Tonto, famous for his distinctive markings as well as his exploits on the racecourse, had shown signs of returning to form when a fine second in a competitive mile and half a furlong handicap at Galway last month.

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However, having been lame afterwards, the six-year-old was found to have a hairline fracture of his near-fore cannon bone, an injury requiring at least six weeks of box rest.

While Ellison is sure Top Notch Tonto will be back in action again next season, he is more concerned about the future of Balty Boys, with a statement on his website revealing the gelding faces "a long road to recovery".

The seven-year-old has been unable to recreate the form in 2016 that last summer saw him land the Group 3 Superior Mile at Haydock and has been found to have torn branches in his near-fore joint.

"Tonto will be alright, he'll just miss the end of the season, that's all," said Ellison. "I don't know about Balty Boys though.

"It's a real blow for everyone at the stable to lose two of our better horses but that's racing."

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