The jumps trainer is proving a maestro at reinvigorating jaded racehorses. Julian Muscat finds out how his rugby background influences his training plan
Sandy Thomson still basks in the afterglow of a five-week episode that put his Scottish stable firmly on the map. It is nearly 10 years since he was obliged to upgrade his permit to a full trainer’s license. A pair of high-profile races either side of Christmas made it well worth the wait.
The first of them saw Yorkhill, a shadow of his youthful pomp under Willie Mullins’ wing, turn back time to win the Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle. His game, front-running display contrasted sharply with the moody insolence that saw him fail to complete on four of his previous five starts.
Then came another joyous blast from the past. On 2 January, Seeyouatmidnight, once the Thomson stable star, defied his 13 years to win the Unibet Veterans’ Chase Final at Sandown. He galloped home on a wave of nostalgic euphoria.
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