By Emma Forman
Dingley hosted the Fernie Point- to- Point on Sunday where the feature race was the Welland Valley Feeds Fernie Four Miler Mixed Open race which resulted in a popular success for the Chatterton family when Distime ran out the 10 lengths winner. “He’s been crying out for this extended trip.” Said a delighted Mike Chatterton whose grandson George partnered the 13 year old. For 21 year old George, a Durham university undergraduate, this was a sixth win in his first season riding and he is likely to collect the Midlands area novice rider award at the end of it. “Chris Bealby has done an incredible job training 2 older horses for us and he has taught me an awful lot.” He said. Mia’s Anthem and Billy Aprahamian were a distance away in second with This Breac and Dicky Collinson in third. Both Distime and Mia’s Anthem have qualified for the Skinners Ladies Open Final Hunter Chase at Stratford. This was the final race for the popular Panama Canal who has been a great servant for the Robinson family. The gallant 14 year old has run in 48 British point to points winning 10, 9 of which were in the Midlands area.
Tom Strawson, the man responsible for steering Panama Canal to his Quorn Gold cup victory in 2015, was back in the winner’s enclosure after the Rod Millington Open Maiden race kindly sponsored by Summit Engineering and Matthew Teece Fencing and Hedgelaying, with Charles Brown. Strawson was partnering the 6 year old for Jack Wallace and the Walnut Hill racing partnership and at the time of starting was yet to complete in 4 outings. Charles Brown has been slow to get to grips with jumping having tipped up when looking all over the winner at Thorpe Lodge on Easter Monday and his task was made easier by the open ditch being omitted. Given a patient ride by Strawson, who waited with the gelding until taking the lead from Bite My Tongue and Bradley Roberts after the second last fence and going on to win by 5 lengths. “The plan today was to ride him to get round, however, he was travelling so well in the back straight I had to put him in the race; he has plenty of ability but is still learning.” Confirmed Strawson.
Gina Andrews and Tom Ellis’ run of good form continued whenthey supplemented their Cheltenham Hunter Chase triumphs on Friday night with another double. The first of these came in the Stephen Sanderson Transport Restricted race with Sue Welch’s Forgiving. Sue, who show jumped successfully when known as Sue Cohen, bred the 6 year old chestnut mare. “Forgiving had a run in a bumper at Bangor and the racecourse experience did her no end of good; she then won her maiden at Godstone.” Said the winning trainer Tom Ellis.
The biggest cheer of the day came for Gina after winning the Jockey Club and Deene Park sponsored Open Maiden race for fillies and mares with You Know The Story. The 7 year old mare, You Know The Story, is by the leading Irish Point- to- Point sire this season in Getaway, owned by Martin and Jane Wanless, and now trained by Tom Ellis. “Gina had a soft lead and managed to get her settled. The mare came to me following a conversation with Martin over a bottle of champagne at Jack Andrews’ 21stparty. I asked if he would sell her but he couldn’t be persuaded; he did however agree to me taking over the training for him.” Explained Ellis. These two winners were part of a draft of 10 runners over the bank holiday weekend for the Ellis team which included the successful raid on Cheltenham on Friday night when Kalabaloo won the GX Landover’s Mares’ Open Hunter Chase and Latenightpass took the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Final Hunter Chase. “It has been a great few days for the G and T racing team. Kalabaloo winning was special for us because Shona Westrope was the first owner we had in the yard, she is an enthusiastic supporter and does a lot to help with the Warwickshire Point- to- Point. Latenightpass is the first ever homebred we have had; he was born the night before I rode round Aintree and is part of the family.” Added Ellis.
Gina Andrews did not have such good fortune in the opening PPORA Club Members Conditions race sponsored by Watling JCB. Here her mount King Of The Clothe unseated her when trying to avoid Dale Peters and the unlucky The Unmentionable who slipped up near the Ashpoles on the final circuit. This left James Martin and Aunty Joan to kick clear 2 fences from home and go on to win easily. Bardista did not jump fluently but ran on to be second for Alex Vaughan-Jones with the early leader Flugzeug and Luke Humphreys in third. Aunty Joan is trained by Richard Pringuer for owners John and Sylvia Busby. “She has been working well at home but not racing well; she has been generally off colour but she loves the spring and has really found form now. “Said Sylvia.
The PPORA Club Members Conditions race for novice riders was part of the Harley racing National Novice riders Championship series and a qualifier for the £1000 PPORA Novice Riders Final at Edgcote on 19th May. This was won by Pantxoa who beat Minella Friend and George Chatterton in a tight finish by half a length. Pantxoa was ridden by Jacob Pritchard Webb for whom this was a third winner. “Pantxoa has been loaned to us by June Watts who had him in training with Alan King. He has been great for Jacob to learn on; this is the second time he has won on him. This will be his last run so it’s great to end on a high note.” Said the delighted winning owner Linda Delahooke.