Dingley’s second meeting of the year was also the Midland Area’s penultimate fixture of the season, the Fernie’s, and brought a good number of runners to the Market Harborough course, where Charles Millington and his team had prepared an excellent racing surface.
The feature race of the afternoon was the Mixed Open for the Fernie Gold Cup, formerly the Four-Miler, sponsored by Welland Valley Feeds. Now run over three miles because of where the meeting sits in the calendar, this attracted three classy open horses who finished very much together. Seven No Trumps (B. Durrell), and Ragnar Lodbrok (Alex Chadwick) made much of the running, with No Hassle Hoff (K. Gowing) never far away. It was anybody’s race approaching the last, but Seven No Trumps made a mistake and lost two or three lengths and never really recovered, despite a spirited run-in. No Hassle Hoff put pressure on Ragnar Lodbrok but the classy eight-year-old, trained by Jennifer Owen for The Whisky and Water Partnership always had enough to win this one and crossed the line two lengths ahead.
“it’s tricky in these small open fields,” Alex Chadwick told me, “because I don’t want to hit the front too early. If there is someone upsides, he’s more likely to win. He’s run seven times this season. Won five times. This is the end of his season.”
The first of two maidens was a 2m 4 f race sponsored kindly by Watling JCB and won by the Jack Teal-trained Nowmelad, with John Dawson on board, who came home four lengths ahead of Horizon d’Ainay (T. McCain-Mitchell). Shakeyatailfeather (Miss A. Stevens) was a dozen or so lengths back in third. “I’m surprised his form has not been better,” Jack said, “he’s a very sure jumper at home. He’s a tough hardy type of horse.”
The Charles Stanley Novice Riders Conditions, next, produced one of the best finishes of the day as the heavily odds-on favourite Bawnmore (Miss E. Holder), trained by Tom Ellis, was caught in the run-in by Take To Heart (Miss C. G. Butler) who won by a neck at the flags. This was perhaps an overdue victory for the Turner family who have suffered seconditis on a number of occasions in the Midlands area this season, particularly to the Ellis team.
“I thought it was going to happen again!” Ben Turner said. “Luckily he got a good jump at the last. The ground is a bit quicker there, which he liked, and she [Charlotte Butler] rode a great finish.”
Arguably the best finish of the day came from the Restricted Race, sponsored by Sharnford Tractors. The three top-priced starters, Mister Splash (M. Dodd), Duke Account (J. Dawson) and In Our Dreams (Miss A. Jackson-Fennell). The distances were half a length each way but it was In Our Dreams who hit the line first.
“Amber rode with great judgement and was patient and then strong and made a challenge at the perfect moment. Yeah, it was a very exciting finish and even better when you come out on top.” Assistant Trainer Charlie Poste said.
The bookmakers made the Matthew Teece Fencing Veteran Horse Conditions Race a two horse race, and so it turned out, with Clondaw Westie from the Alan Hill stable, and the Tom Ellis-trained Pass The Glass the only two (from four) to finish. It was Pass The Glass who was victorious by seven lengths here, under Hack Andrews. “It’s been a horse plagued with issues,” Jack said, “It’s just nice to get back back in the winner’s enclosure. It looked like a good opportunity for him but they still got to go and do it and he’d done it well in the end”
Hot favourites, Dale Peters and Wereinthistogether, took the final race of the afternoon, the Rod Millington Maiden Race, kindly sponsored by Travis Perkins. The margin of victory was about seven lengths, from second favourite Just In A Bit.
Jockey and trainer Dale Peters was full of praise. “We’ve looking forward to this for a long time. He’s just he’s came together in prep. We bought him sell him, but I think we’re gonna keep him now. So he’s six now so I’ll have to see my career out with him. He’s the only reason I’m still writing today.”
The last of our Midlands Pointing fixtures is also here at Dingley, hosted by the Fitzwilliam on 13th May. Tickets are available on our website for a reduced price, with under-16s admitted free of charge.
There will be trade stands, catering, a licensed bar, a fun dog show and various other activities for all the family. We look forward to seeing you there.