The Fernie Point-to-Point will take place at Dingley on Sunday, 7th May. Dingley racecourse is on the A427, 1m East of Market Harborough and in addition to seven horse races there will be trade stands, caterers, a licensed bar, bookmakers and entertainment for the children.
The seven-race card has attracted an excellent field of 148 potential runners, though some of these, as ever, will have multiple entries. Runners won’t finally be confirmed until declarations close on the day.
The first race is the Harborough Hunts Club Members race and there are several horses here which could feature. The horses with recent wins include Knowwhentofoldem, Mazurati and Otto The Great and local rider Lucy Wheeler will try to go one better than her recent second on Golden Milan, as will Rory Bevin on Bravehearted Harry. Ignite a Light was disappointing at Garthorpe last weekend but may try again here. Probably George is another with potential.
The second race is the open maiden which, as usual, will be a difficult one to predict. It should also be noted that this will be raced over the shorter 2m 4f distance. Caryto Des Brosses was unlucky to lose by half a length last time out, and Florabell, Midnight Quest, Misola Bird, Teeton Turnip and Tullydonnell Flyer and IwillifIwant all have second places to their names.
The PPORA Club Members race for Novice Riders is up next and provides an opportunity for the placed horses to qualify for the Dodson & Horrell Novice Riders Final at the Melton Hunt Club meeting at Garthorpe later this month. The obvious selection here is Silvergrove, a winner here at the Woodland Pytchley meeting for ex-showjumper Tim Gredley. Limpopo Tom will be looking to follow up a victory at Higham a fortnight ago, as will Man of God, who won at Whitfield a week later. Done A Runner was a creditable second to Warden Hill at Guilsborough and Bravo Riquet was second to Mr Syntax at Garthorpe and could contest this if quick to recover. Boxer Beat, Butney Rock, Man from Seville and Storm Lantern could feature on the right day.
The Mixed Open race at this meeting is the Fernie Four-Miler. There are 23 entries which include stayer Warden Hill, although they may need longer after running at Garthorpe last weekend. Court Red Handed, Mostly Bob, Oliver James, The Job is Right and Young QC all have recent form so there is lots to look forward to in this Midlands Area Feature Race, sure to be a cracker.
The Subaru Restricted race is the next to go, another race which is a national series qualifier and therefore attracts a strong field. Freaky Freda, Llangwm Lad and We’ve Got Company all have recent form here. Too Much Too Soon, Demood, Glory Hunter, Max O and Shamat will be snapping at their heels.
The remaining two races are both maidens, meaning the starters will not have won races before. The first is just for mares and could be contested by Come on Harriet and Florabell (assuming they didn’t run in the shorter maiden earlier on the card). Free Scorpion and Loveyoutothemoon will also be ones to watch here.
Finally an open maiden race over the longer 3-mile distance, attracts entries such as Ernest Defarge, Harodale, It’ll Be Grand, Max O, Misola Bird and several unraced horses, including Running in Socks which has a big weight advantage over the other runners as a four-year-old, and Rock Home Late for local trainer Tommy Morgan.
The Fernie always puts on a great fixture and I have no doubt that the hill will be packed on Sunday. Give yourself time to find a place and enjoy a picnic before racing commences, and perhaps buy your e-ticket in advance www.midlandspointing.com/shop and take advantage of the free racecard (£3 if you pay for entry on the gate).