The Easter weekend includes two Point-to-Point amateur horse racing meetings in the Midlands area, the Woodland Pytchley meeting at Dingley on Easter Saturday and the South Notts fixture at Thorpe Lodge on Easter Monday. Both are very popular fixtures but you can purchase tickets in advance online at midlandspointing.com/shop.
The Woodland Pytchley are hosting a seven-race card including Ladies and Mens Open races and a race for novice riders. Racing starts at 2pm but gates will be open late morning.
The winner of the Ladies Open race will qualify for the Timico-sponsored Mixed Open final at Cheltenham in May, while the first two past the post will be eligible for the Skinners Ladies Open final at Stratford-on-Avon. Gina Andrews set a new record for point-to-point wins by a female jockey last weekend and will be riding Blue Mountain Boy in this one. Their competition could come from Proximo if connections decide to declare for this and not the Mens Open which follows.
There are ten entries for the Mens Open, including Proximo. Burtredgipandgump and Thetalkinghorse both lost out in a good finish to Black Valentine at Guilsborough a fortnight ago on similar ground but turning left-handed. Tim Gredley’s Just Cause is sure to be a leading contender here, returning to point-to-point racing after a spell of hunter chases. Ardkilly Witness and Dido have both won recently and Pair of Jacks is another to consider.
The first race of the day is a members race for Woodland Pytchley and Fernie registered horses. Owner Toby Hunt has three entered for this. Omar Maretti could contest this one if connections choose this race over the Restricted later. The horse won impressively at Duncombe Park in February. Done a Runner may be getting older but is well known on this course. Wayupinthebox could be one to watch for the Bevin stable.
The young horse maiden which follows this has a couple of four-year-old horses entered, with the big weight advantage this attracts. The Tom Ellis-trained LateNightFumble, being a filly, will be 25lbs lighter than some in the race, but is unraced. The other four-year-old is Equus Dreamer. Of those who have some form Courtandbould amd Signed And Sealed could be ones to watch.
After the Mens Open is a PPORA Club Members race for Novice Riders, part of National Series for riders who had not had more than five winners at the start of this season. Four horses will qualify for the final of the series at Edgcote in May, and those place score points towards the Harley Racing National Novices Championship. Vivaldi Collonges is impossible to avoid here, being the equal highest rated horse on the course at this meeting. According to Dan was impressive winning under Jack Andrews at Guilsborough a fortnight ago – the owner takes the ride back in this one. Dido has an entry here too, as do Done A Runner and Toby Lerone, and may choose this over other races. Tom Ellis brings WillFlyWontSink.
The Restricted race could see the biggest field of the day, with 18 horses entered. All these horses have won just once. Ones to watch include The Triple Pillar, Pelegrine Falcon, Rebel Dawn Rising, Omar Maretti, Spring Cover and High Hopper but these are usually well-contested races with opportunities for all.
To round off the day’s racing we have an Open Maiden race for with a possible 15 runners. These are horses who haven’t yet won races, one or two have never been on a racecourse at all. Four-year-old LateNightFumble could choose this race over the second race and if so would have that big weight advantage but there are other horses here that could compete.
As with all fixtures at Dingley there will be a warm welcome to all visitors, a wide range of trade stands, bookmakers, a licensed bar and excellent viewing from the car parking area above the course.
A shame or a shambles?
Thousands of eager race goers..and fields of 2,1,3,4,3,3 and 0.
Not quite the racing spectacle advertised at £15 per person.
Will not be returning in a hurry I’m afraid!
Phil in Northampton
We are sorry you’ve had a disappointing day. Very frustrating for all – visitors and organisers alike – to have 70-odd entries and so few runners declaring on the day.
All we can do (as unpaid volunteers) is continue to do our best to schedule the races the trainers ask us for and do our best to produce the best ground possible.