Mag­pie’s love for a Mackem!

Sunday Sun - - News - HAN­NAH GRA­HAM han­nah.gra­hama@reach­

Reporter HE’S been a Mag­pie all his life - but now he’s back­ing a Mackem.

Geordie horse trainer Brian El­li­son has loved New­cas­tle United since he was a lad grow­ing up in the city.

The son of a Ty­ne­side ship builder, he’d hoped to one day play at St James’ Park him­self, but stand­ing just 4ft 9ins, he soon re­alised his tal­ents lay in horse rac­ing, be­com­ing a jockey and, later, a highly suc­cess­ful horse trainer.

Now Brian, 66, is find­ing huge suc­cess with a horse he’d prob­a­bly be un­likely to bet on if he came across it on a ca­sual day at the races. Her name? Mackem Bul­let.

The horse, which has re­cently been rac­ing in the USA, made it all the way to the Breed­ers’ Cup in Ken­tucky on Fri­day, a pres­ti­gious mil­lion-dol­lar race.

And Mackem Bul­let rose to the oc­ca­sion, com­ing sixth in the Breeder’s Cup Ju­ve­nile fil­lies race.

She’s caused some­thing of a stir in the rac­ing pages, hav­ing fol­lowed an im­pres­sive tra­jec­tory from be­ing pur­chased for just £9,000 as a year­ling.

Brian ex­plained: “Her pre­vi­ous owner was a big Sun­der­land man - he bought her and then she came to me.

“I’ve trained over 12,000 horses - and Mackem Bul­let is on of the best Mackem Bul­let trained by Geordie trainer Brian El­li­son with his head girl Laura Wil­son ones I’ve ever had.”

Brian said he some­times gets raised eye­brows over the name - but he’s not ashamed to be cheer­ing this Mackem on.

He still loves New­cas­tle United though, although he ac­knowl­edged “we’re not very good at the mo­ment.”

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