A bumper Dingley crowd enjoyed the Pytchley with Woodland’s traditional Easter Saturday meeting at Dingley, where they enjoyed warm weather and seven races which included a four-timer for Dale Peters on the day.
The first race of the day, the Hunt Members, saw the Judy Wilson’s seasoned campaigner Volnay de Thaix start as odds-on favourite in the capable hands of Zac Baker, while Dale Peters choose to ride My Uncas, owned by himself and Messrs Clark and Close, leaving him free to ride the more experienced The Unmentionable in the PPORA Club Members later in the day. This turned out to be an excellent decision for Peters who took the lead with two to jump after Lucinda Ticehurst and What A Moment had made much of the running, and was able to resist a strong challenge from Volnay de Thaix in the run in. The winning distance was four lengths, with Spanish Fleet (Daniel Cherriman) in third and What A Moment (Lucinda Ticehurst) in fourth.
Ellie Callwood, who is based at Tom and Gina Ellis’ yard in Warwickshire, continued her strong performance in the Novice Rider series races as she made nearly all the running on her Mother Joanne’s Precious Bounty, to win by ten lengths from Knockedoutloaded (Jemma Justice), and Perpignan (Emma Freeman) in third place. “I’m learning a huge amount working with Tom and Gina, like how I have to try to stop always wanting to see a stride and just push!”, Ellie said.
Callwood also rode Wounded Warrior in the PPORA Club Member Conditions, next, but this race belonged to Dale Peters riding The Unmentionable for Freda and Neville Clark. This was an impressive victory for the nine-year-old gelding who overcame a 3lb penalty to make all the running. Aunty Joan (C. Case) was second for Richard Pringuer, just heading Clara Sorrento in third.
Sadly, with many other meetings around the country choosing to run over the Easter weekend it is sometimes difficult to secure a good Open Race field and on this occasion we were left with just one declared runner from our ten entered horses. Dale Peters and Toby Hunt’s Peacocks Secret completed a walkover to earn themselves the prize money and the E. W. Hudson Memorial Trophy.
Capping an impressive four-timer on the card, Peters went straight on to win the Restricted Race on The New Kid for Liz Inman and Tim Tarratt, leaving The Jolly Pot (James Turner) and Stick With It (Alex Chadwick) in their wake for an impressive 32 length victory.
We finished the day with two maiden races, the first of which was a three-mile maiden. Having played catch up a number of times during the afternoon it was time for Zac Baker to secure his first victory of the day on the Stuart Morris-trained Champagne Glory. Dale Peters had gone off as favourite riding David and Imogen Kemp’s By Appointmentonly but Baker’s five-year-old mount made all the running to pass the flags four lengths clear of Peters, these two being well clear of the chasing pack.
The final rest the day was a 2 1/2-mile maiden race for mares and fillies, sponsored by The Jockey Club series. Here we were treated to a start to finish performance by Kostantina written by Kiah Adams for Philip Lutman to give the jockey her maiden point-to-point victory. Johnny Weatherby’s Presenting Miranda, trained by Kelly Morgan, was the only other horse to compete, finishing six lengths behind the winner.
A prize for the leading jockey of the day was awarded after the last race by members of the Lane family, in memory of Shelagh, a keen supporter of the Woodland Pytchley Hunt. This prize was awarded to Dale Peters.