Empire Builder (George Greenock) winning the Fernie Four Miler

The Fernie at Dingley – Preview

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The next meeting in the Midlands point-to-point area is the Fernie’s at Dingley, on Sunday 6th May 2018. The will present a seven-race card which includes the area’s feature race, The Fernie Four-Miler, which starts at 3.45pm.

All but one races on the card have the potential to exceed the safety limit number of entries for this course. There is no guarantee that all the entered horses will travel to Dingley. There are many horses which have more than one race entered on the day, and other entries for other meetings on the day, but visitors should be aware that some of the races may be split and, in that situation, the timings of races would indeed change.

The meeting starts at 2pm with the PPORA Club Members Conditions Race. An entry list of 34 includes several horses with ratings over 100, but also includes a large number with entries in other races on this card. Caryto Des Brosses comes straight from a fourth victory in a row at Garthorpe last weekend and is clearly a form horse, as is Keel Over, with three wins out of four this season. Aunty Joan, Benefit of Luck and Hurricane Vic all have a win recently, while Mr Madeit was second last time at Guilsborough. John Chatfeild-Roberts has three very capable horses entered in this race and will presumably run the one which suits the going. Love Manhattan, Our Milly Acres and She’s Real all won last time they raced.

The Open Maiden which follows is being run over two and a half miles and is probably the most likely to be split into two divisions, having 33 entries with a safety number of 16. There are plenty of horses here who have seconds on their record: Chosen Tribe, Order In Court, Parsons Avenue and Racing Eagle. Lucarno Express is another horse of interest. All the mares will carry half a stone less than the geldings and Midnight Tipple benefits from the four-year-old allowance and carries only ten stone.

Our third race is for Novice Riders and favourite for this one is probably Just Cause. Jockey Tim Gredley has three wins this season, two of them on this horse, though it has not run on this course before. The combination of L’Eldorado and jockey Meisha Micklewright have also had a successful season, with three wins and a second (in a Ladies Open). Max O and jockey Philip Armson have won a maiden and restricted race this season but this is there first foray into a Novice Riders race.

The feature race of the day is the fourth on the card: the mixed open Fernie Four-Miler. It is run over a distance of just over four miles, so stamina is key here. A quick glance at the form of Warden Hill might not do this horse justice. His last four starts have been in hunter chases, the last two being Foxhunters. This time last year he lost a four mile race by a neck so we know he can do the distance. Their biggest opponent could be Cherry Coward-trained One Conemara who has one over 3m 5f on good ground at Corbridge. Another who should stay well could be Legal Legend. He was second over 3m 6f at Cocklebarrow carrying nearly a stone more than he will here. James Henderson’s Abricot De L’Oasis won a hunter chase last time but over the shorter distance of 2m 6f. Gina Andrews is down to ride either Excitable Island or Man Of Steel, either of which should compete in this one.

The Restricted race which follows brings horses with only one win to their name. For some of them that was a recent victory, for others a while ago. Among the in-form horses we can count InMyDay, The Glover, The Jaffna Queen, Top Garry, Dulwich Hill and the aforementioned Benefit Of Luck.

The last two races of the day are both maidens. The first, part of the Jockey Club series for mares, has 18 entries. There is a big age range in this field, from the well-rated Coco Shambhala at ten, down to two unraced four-yeard-olds who will race with a stone and a half less on board.

Finally we have another open maiden race, this time over three miles. Ones to watch here could be Order In Court, Staple Head, Spring Cover, Racing Eagle, Jamars Star, Chosen Tribe and Buster West. There are also horse who have not raced on a point-to-point course before so all will depend on which horses choose which races and who is ready on the day.

As usual there will be a range of activities away from the course, for adult and child alike. Lots of trade stands, including plenty of different caterers and a bar, and bookmakers.

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