The Sunday Post (Inverness)
With Galvin gone, a few Dingo Dollars to be won
Galvin, ante-post favourite and as short as 4/1 for the Scottish Grand National, won’t run at Ayr next Saturday.
Connections have decided to give the seven-year-old a break after a five-win campaign. The season climaxed last month with victory in the Sam Vestey National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham.
Galvin, owned by Ronnie Bartlett, also won at Killarney twice, Tipperary and at Cheltenham’s October meeting while in the care of Gordon Elliott.
But with Elliott banned, Galvin was switched to the Co. Antrim stable of Ian Ferguson.
A 144-day interval between races then paid off with a oneand-a-half length success over Next Destination and Galvin will now enjoy another breather before his next target. Meanwhile, as a trainer who specialises in giving horses another chance, Sandy Thomson seems the perfect handler for Dingo Dollar’s Scottish National hopes.
Favourite for the last running of the Ayr showpiece, in 2019, Alan King withdrew Dingo Dollar at the eleventh hour to avoid fast ground. Precious little has gone right since that fateful day, although arriving in Thomson’s Berwickshire yard – as Dingo Dollar did earlier this year – is normally a good sign for one in need of a reset.
Thomson revived careers of Grade One rogue, Yorkhill, and teased two Borders Nationals out of the ex-paul Nicholls stalwart, Harry The Viking.
There were less quirks to iron out in Dingo Dollar, and he’s not veteran material aged nine. But the brief remains the same – land a big prize with a horse seemingly on the downgrade and transferred from a top yard.
A cosy Newcastle success over three miles in his first run has put Dingo Dollar on track for Ayr’s marathon, for which he’s generally 12/1.
Two years on from when his date with destiny was ducked, he’s back and fancied to land the spoils.
“The owners took Dingo Dollar out of training and thought about sending him point-to-pointing,” explained Thomson.
“When that was shelved, they rang and asked if I’d take him. I was delighted.
“Sometimes horses revive for a change of scenery. It’s keeping that going that’s difficult because sometimes they revert to type. I’m happy with him, though, and very hopeful he’ll run a big race.”
Dingo Dollar finished third in 2018’s Ladbrokes Trophy and was second in the novice chase at the Scottish National meeting earlier that year. But he went off the boil before pulling up in Aintree’s Grand Sefton last December. With previous for reinvigorating a horse – witness Yorkhill’s stirring 66/1 Rehearsal Chase win – Thomson was the man for the job.
He said: “They all get treated the same, basically, but because of the numbers we have, they can get a bit more individualistic treatment here.
“They go out in lots of six or eight rather than, I don’t know, 25 or 30 at the big yards. “Many people come here and say how relaxed the horses are, how happy they seem.
“I think that’s one of the big secrets. I’ve never worked in another yard. Sometimes I think it’s a good thing.
“We’ve had to learn our way, and find out what works for us. It seems to work for some horses.”
Thomson is double-handed, he also saddles The Ferry Master, currently 20/1.
The novice, who improved in three autumn runs, is better than a Haydock run in February and has ‘a great future’. Thomson said: “There are obvious races you’d like to win – the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National.
“Who knows, Dingo Dollar may go to Aintree next year if high enough up the handicap.
“But, realistically, we look at races we can win. And we might be good enough to win the Scottish National.
“You saw how delighted Evan Williams was to win the Welsh. I’d love to train the winner of the Scottish one.” n FOUR TO FOLLOW –
Aye Right (12/1), Dingo Dollar (12/1), Ask Me Early (16/1) and Mighty Thunder (20/1).