Dingo Dollar sets sights on Scottish Grand National after veterans’ victory at Aintree

A second tilt at the Scottish Grand National is the likely long-term target for Dingo Dollar after his triumphant return in the Jewson Widnes Vieux Lion Rouge Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Aintree.

The 10-year-old finished second in the Ayr marathon in 2021 for Sandy Thomson, while last season he instead contested the Grand National itself but unseated his rider at the Canal Turn.

Making his first appearance since that spill, Dingo Dollar was a 12-1 shot in the hands of Conor O'Farrell and few would have fancied his chances turning for home.

Following a bold front-running display, Wishing And Hoping was still leading his rivals a merry dance at the top of the straight, but tired between the final two fences, at which stage Dingo Dollar was just finding his stride and went on to pull eight and a half lengths clear of the gallant runner-up.

"They've just gone too quick in front and it turned into a staying contest, which is what he wants," Thomson said.

"He used to have to bowl along in front, but now he's quite happy to sit in and Conor gave him a brilliant ride - he bided his time and hoped they'd stop, which they did.

"The Scottish National would be a target at the end of the season, although today isn't going to help his handicap mark obviously.

"He's been a star ever since we've had him. We decided to go for the National last year and it messed up his season completely so there's no plans to go for the National this year.

"Being his age we'll just find what races we can. There's a veterans' chase at Haydock that might be a plan and we might look at the Veterans' Final - you have to with the sort of money that's on offer."

Honor Grey benefited from a cool ride from Luca Morgan when claiming top honours in the Jewson Click And Collect Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

A winner at Ffos Las and Southwell in the spring, Ben Pauling's charge was sent off at 9-1 for his return from five months off the track and moved powerfully to the lead in the home straight.

The seven-year-old idled close home, giving the strong-finishing Glimpse Of Gala brief hope, but Honor Grey had enough in hand to hold on by three-quarters of a length.

"We normally ride him in second or third, but the first half a mile of the race was really messy and we were a lot further back than planned. It didn't seem to worry him too much and he travelled great," said Morgan.

"He wasn't that confident in his jumping, but the blinkers seem to have sharpened him up. He jumped great and travelled great, so I'm delighted."

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