Photos from the meeting: The Fitzwilliam at Dingley.
The organisers of the Fitzwilliam meeting distributed a million litres of water on the course at Dingley in the run up to Saturday’s meeting and they were rewarded with an excellent day’s racing, with nearly 50 runners.
There were doubles for both Dale Peters and Jack Andrews, and Gina Andrews extended her record winning season still further with victory in the Ladies Open.
Gina’s ride Celtic Silver was injured here last season so this was a welcome return to form. “He is a brilliant little horse who loves good fast ground.” Andrews said, after a very impressive performance from the ten-year-old grey. Shannon Silver (Meisha Micklewright) made all the running, finishing second by three lengths.
Zac Baker timed his run on Big Man Doe in the Mens Open to perfection, the seven-year-old tiring as he crossed the line. Second-placed horse and fellow joint favourite Dido (Dale Peters) had been closing the gap with every stride. Baker was humble about his part in the success. “We had a shambolic start, but he helped me get back to where I wanted to be. He’s a good ride and I don’t really need to do anything!” This race was also the final swansong for jockey Alex Vaughan-Jones, long time client of trainer Gerald Bailey, who will not be taking to the track again. We all wish him well.
Dale Peters opened his account with The Unmentionable in the Members race, the first of the day. After two unfortunate slips in his previous two runs the pair were due some luck and this race was without serious incident as they led Arkose (Alex Knight) home by about ten lengths.
Peters completed the double on Toby Hunt’s Poetry Emotion in the three-mile Open Maiden, later in the day. Once again they made all the running and were never challenged. Edward Turners’ Quietly had stayed with the winner for much of the race but lost touch in the final stages, finishing five lengths behind.
Jack Andrews won the Restricted race on Teeton Turnip, for Mark and Pat Barthorpe, long time supporters of point-to-point racing in the Midlands. The Stuart Morris-trained ex-event horse has been placed on many occasions but started this race as favourite and didn’t disappoint. Five-year-old Bonamargy was impressive in second, finishing a length or two behind. “His eventing background has made him very careful,” Andrews told me, of the winner, “but now he seems to be taking more chances and was happy to take on the running today.”
The final race of the day provided the second of Jack’s winners, Sting River in the 2 mile 4 furlong Open Maiden.
The second race of the day was a well-supported conditions race for older horses and produced a great finish. Local support was behind the grey Master Ally (Harry Thorpe-Codman), being run in the colours of the late Henry Hill who had owned and trained the horse until his recent death. Sadly, though, it was not to be a fairytale ending and they were headed at the last by Beggar’s Velvet and Amy Cox who had tracked them throughout. “He ran well at Garthorpe. I’ve had him at Fran Nimmo’s recently and that has really sharpened him up. Charlie Poste has also been helping me with my riding, so I am very grateful,” Cox said.
We conclude the Midlands season with the Meynell and South Staffordshire meeting at Garthorpe on Saturday 1st June.
Results from Dingley
Race 1 – Members
1st The Unmentionable (Dale Peters) 1/5F
2nd Arkose (Alex Knight) 5/2
Race 2 – Conditions
1st Beggar’s Velvet (Amy Cox) 6/1
2nd Master Ally (Harry Thorpe-Codman) 12/1
3rd Midnight Monkey (J Jeavons) 9/4F
Race 3 – Mens Open
1st Big Man Doe (Z. Baker) 5/2J
2nd Dido (D. Peters ) 5/2J
3rd Bardista (A. Vaughan-Jones) 8/1
Race 4 – Ladies Open
1st Celtic Silver (Gina Andrews) 2/5F
2nd Shannon Silver (Meisha Micklewright) 10/1
3rd Sa Kaldoun (Mrs R. Turner) 6/4
Race 5 – Restricted
1st Teeton Turnip (Jack Andrews) 4/5F
2nd Bonamargy (Dale Peters) 5/4
3rd Fab Vinnie (J. Savage) 5/1
Race 6 – Open Maiden
1st Poetry Emotion (Dale Peters) 3/1
2nd Quietly (R. Stearn) 6/1
3rd Straight Eight (P. Armson) 4/1
Race 7 – Open Maiden
1st Sting River (Jack Andrews) 6/1
2nd John B’s (Tom Strawson) 10/1
3rd Mountain Assault (Dale Peters) 2/1F