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Racing: Fatehalkhair makes Ellison feel good

THE TRAINER Brian Ellison was entitled to feel happier after Fatehalkhair had scored in style at Catterick yesterday. The County Durham handler had been disappointed when his gelding had finished unplaced at Musselburgh 18 days earlier in a race that is under scrutiny by the Jockey Club.

Ellison was unhappy with the performance of the apprentice John McAuley who rode Fatehalkhair that day and asked the authorities to look into the Musselburgh race. Ironically McAuley finished third at Catterick on Kintavi, two lengths behind Fatehalkhair who was ridden this time by Robert Winston.

Fatehalkhair was sent off the 7-2 favourite for the Leslie Petch Handicap and was always within hailing distance of the leaders before going on well over a furlong out and running on strongly.

Ellison said: "That proves he has a high cruising speed and is able to lay up with the leaders. We were bitterly disappointed with the ride he got at Musselburgh. He missed the break and never got into the race, and afterwards we heard so many rumours that I felt I had to say something to the authorities. I had a meeting with Jockey Club officials at Newcastle recently and the matter is being considered by them."

Tony Culhane rode a 254-1 treble initiated by the 13-year-old Brodessa in the claimer. Culhane snatched a last gasp victory on Prix Star in the Scotch Corner Handicap and completed his treble when Pure Elegancia took the Jervaulx Handicap despite hanging badly at halfway and finishing up on the stands rails.

Torgau made a winning debut in the two year-old event to earn a trip to Royal Ascot later this month. The filly is trained by Giles Bravery and came with a strong run to collar Littlefeather entering the final furlong and win by two-and-a-half lengths. Bravery said: "She's the best of my six juveniles and did it well. She has earned a trip to the Royal meeting and we'll enter her in both the Queen Mary Stakes and the Windsor Castle Stakes."