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Norton's Brian Ellison eyes a flying start to Flat racing season
BRIAN ELLISON says he will be targeting the curtain-raiser for the new Flat season with an unprecedented number of horses.
The Norton trainer, whose Spring Cottage Stables string is now numbering 120 thoroughbreds, is hoping to get the new campaign off to a flying start at Doncaster's Lincoln meeting in ten days time.
Ellison has five horses targeted at the two-day season opener's feature race - the £100,000 William Hill Lincoln over a mile - including Amaze, Dream Walker and last year's runner up Global Village.
"I have not had as many Lincoln horses before," Ellison said. "We could even have had Pacific Heights in there but we decided to give him a bit longer off and he will come back in for York."
Global Village ran a huge race 12 months ago - staying on strongly in the final furlong and only just failing to get past Levitate, trained by Norton colleague John Quinn.
There was only a short-head between the two runners and, although Global Village hasn't won since an outing on soft ground at Leicester nearly two years ago and could only finish 11th in a Lincoln trial at Wolverhampton earlier in the month, Ellison believes he could mount another challenge.
"Global Village was beaten by a short-head last year and he ran in the Lincoln trial at Wolverhampton," he added. "He'll go for the Lincoln, has come back in this year and looks great.
"The others, like Amaze, will probably get in the Silver Lincoln race."
The Lincoln, which is being staged on March 29, has been the preserve of North Yorkshire trainers over the past couple of years with Brae Hill, trained by Musley Bank's Richard Fahey, preceding Levitate in winning the showpiece.
Fahey's eight-year-old was only a nose further back of Global Village in last year's race and he has been entered for another tilt while the defending champion will also be aiming to keep his crown.
The weights are currently headed by Penitent, Nawton trainer David O'Meara's multiple Group and Listed winner.
Owned by Middleham Park Racing, he's also entered in the Godolphin Mile at Meydan's Dubai World Cup, held on the same day as the Lincoln, for his seasonal appearance.
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