Sandy Thomson is set to win the Listed Rehearsal Handicap Chase for the second time on Saturday, after taking the race in 2020 with Grade One winner Yorkhill.
He unleashed one of the shocks of the season when Yorkhill won it 66-1 a year ago, taking on Newcastle with two lively candidates this weekend.
Both The Ferry Master and Dingo Dollar, who have been declared for Saturday’s race, ran in the Scottish National, and it was the latter who came out best in second place behind the Mighty Thunder, after the pair drove free of the rest in large parts of the home track.
The ferryman was nearly seven lengths back in fourth, but that only tells half the story, as Thomson explains. “When they went to Ayr, I was always in doubt whether the ferry master would stay, but the owners were eager to go.
“Was he? It’s an unanswered question, but by turning in he saw the winner and he probably reached too soon.
“What we can safely say, I think, is that he will not be bothered to get back to three miles, after winning over the course and the distance as a beginner on the same card last year, and I think it becomes a tough question. for Dingo Dollar to give him 17lb. “
The ferryman had just been run over fences for the fourth time in the Scottish National and therefore he should still have plenty of room for improvement, according to Thomson.
“They always say Scottish National is a pretty tough race, but he did really well and jumped well,” he said.
“I have (recently Haydock number two) Empire Steel at 142 and (Hexham wins) Doyen Breed amazing at 143 now. The ferrymaster is only 132, but I do not want to say which is the best of them. With nuts Good to keep “At the top weight, he has a nice weight of 10 stones, even though that means Ryan (Mania) can not ride him.”
“We were delighted that Dingo Dollar reappeared in Kelso, just as we were with The Ferry Master’s in Musselburgh, and he ran a big race on soft ground in the Ladbrokes Trophy three years ago, so I do not think he will stay. bothered by the rain they predict for Saturday.
“It will make it more of a test and the owners will want to run him in National, so hopefully he will run a solid race and keep his rating high enough.
“He had a walk over the Aintree fence before he joined me, but that was when he was completely mad.”