The 2021 Midlands Pointing season continued on Easter Monday at Dingley, where our hosts, the Pytchley with Woodland laid on a well supported seven-race card which produced a double for Gina Andrews.
The big race of the afternoon saw seven runners come to post for the 2m 4f Mixed Open race, kindly sponsored by Berrys.
KnockedOutLoaded (Alex Knight) and Benefit of Luck (George Henderson) were early leaders, with Always Lion (James King) and Fumet D’Oudairies (Jack Andrews) close behind. Approaching the last, Always Lion and Fumet D’Oudairies were upsides and took the last with the latter half a length ahead. Both rode a great finish but in the end it James King aboard Always Lion who took the spoils by less than a length.
“I’m generous with my entries,” Owner Jason Warner said afterwards, “but I questioned whether it was wise to go up against Fumet D’Oudairies. James was sure we could beat him, and he was right”. This was a second win over the Easter weekend for the King/Warner partnership, having won the RoR and The Jockey Club Veteran Horses race at Higham on Good Friday with Thumb Stone Blues.
The afternoon started with a competitive King West Members Race which saw much of the running made by Pytchley with Woodland Huntsman Daniel Cherriman on board Spanish Fleet. The combination led a compact field, with Poetry Emotion (James Martin) and Early Retirement (Tom McClorey) also prominent. The lead was finally taken just approaching the last fence when Dale Peters brought Newsworthy through in impressive style to pull away from Spanish Fleet and win by 15 lengths. “Dale is really getting a tune from him,” co-owner James Morgan said of the horse which won the opener at Revesby just a week before. “He’s had a week in the field and only been ridden once. I told Dale when we bought him that the Members was the one I wanted to win.”
The Hawthorns-sponsored Novice Riders race was led in turn by the Barlows’ veteran Brackloon High (Jennifer Harbison), Wounded Warrior (Ellie Callwood) and finally Diplomate Sivola with Ben Sutton in the plate. Ellie Callwood and Wounded Warrior pushed them all the way but the winner stayed on well to win by a couple of lengths. This win is the fifth as a Novice for Ben Sutton, who has now got his sights on the Novice Rider title for the rest of this season and will look for courses with a bit of cut in the ground.
The PPORA Club Members Race followed this, with ten runners coming to post. Gina Andrews led for the first lap and a half on Nigel Padfield’s Excitable Island before ceding to Hadmeathello, ridden by Chloe Emsley who hit the front at the Ash Poles and stayed on well to win seven lengths from Bingo Star and Jack Andrews, who had chased the leader with two to jump. Local followers will remember that Hadmeathello, now with Stuart Payne in the South West, was raced out of Dale Peters’ yard earlier in his career.
One of the most convincing wins of the day came from Indirocco and Gina Andrews in the Restricted Race. They vied for the lead for much of race with Rebel Dawn Rising, the mount of Dale Peters but the latter weakened with two to jump and left the Tom Ellis-trained eight-year old without competition. It was a particularly impressive display given the horse, previously trained by Dan Skelton, has had two years away from racing after picking up an injury at Godstone.
The four-year-old Lyrical Genius won his his first race on British soil when he took the Open Maiden by three lengths from Dale Peters and The New Kid, with Luke Scott and Post Chaise four lengths behind them in third. Deafening Silence, with Jack Andrews in the plate, looked well placed to contest this race when he fell at the open ditch on the last lap.
Our final race of the day was The Jockey Club-sponsored maiden race for mares and fillies which produced another impressive victory for Gina Andrews, this time on LateNightFumble. Despite being seemingly unwilling to start with the other horses, the six-year-old sister to LateNightPass continued the family’s success in point-to-points by taking this race by 30 lengths, from Edabean and Hope Des Blins.
Many thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors who made it possible to run this meeting with no paying public present. Thanks, too, to the online viewers, who donated enough to cover the investment in technology and manpower needed for the livestream to be possible. We aim to provide the same service for the next meeting.
The Midlands point-to-point season continues in three weeks’ time at Garthorpe, where it is likely the meeting will take place with amber and green enclosures, meaning owners may be allowed. More details will follow as confirmation of the lockdown easing continues as scheduled.