Fernie at Dingley 2024 - Report

RAGNAR LODBROK (Alex Chadwick) winning the Mixed Open at Dingley on Easter Saturday

Another big May Bank Holiday crowd descended on Dingley for the Fernie's point-to-point meeting on 5th May, where they enjoyed a seven-race card.

The Fernie Four-Miler has turned up some great finishes over the years, but this year's renewal might be one of the most unusual. Four miles on any ground is a long race but in stiffening ground it takes a lot out of the legs but favourite Ragnar Lodbrok looked to have it all in hand coming to the last, then appeared to almost pull himself up. John Dawson and Cool Desire must have been four or five lengths back at this point but went past and looked to have the race run in circumstances reminiscent of Hawkhurst's last fence recalcitrance, only for Ragnar Lodbrok to rally and challenge for the win over the course of the very short run-in at Dingley. The result was a win by a head for Ragnar Lodbrok for Gerald Bailey and the Whiskey and Water Partnership, something which seemed impossible but came to pass, and one can't help feeling sorry for the Dawson connections.

Earlier we started the day's racing with the Members, Farmers and Subscribers Race which, despite including potential runners from the three local packs, ended up being a match race between The Unmentionable and Bothwell Bridge. We are grateful to both sets of connections for making it a race as there were options elsewhere on the card. As it transpired, odds-on favourite Bothwell Bridge (Ellie Caldwell), by Stowaway, out of Galileo mare Raise The Issue, was too strong for the challenge of The Unmentionable (Dale Peters) and won by five lengths, making it three wins and two seconds from their five starts. Connections tell me that they may look for a hunter chase next, possibly at Kelso at the end of May.

The Whiskey and Water Partnership were back in the frame again for the second race, the two and half mile maiden, but their Bless The Moon, which slightly surprisingly went off as joint favourite, was outclassed on the day by one of two Jack Teal-trained runners, Kdeux Saint Fray, which won comfortably to go one better than their second place at the Quorn meeting a few weeks ago. jAck's other runner Callmesusie was some way back in third of the three finishers.

The third race was a race for novice riders who started this season with fewer than five wins on their records to this point. Ethan Dawes, who works for Midlands trainer Dale Peters, won a very well-judged race here on Port of Mars for his first win after setting the pace and quickening away as the challengers caught him late on.

The Restricted race was won by Jack Andrews on his only ride of the day, Imperial Pride, having taken the lead from Grangleclere Diego (Paddy Barlow) between the last two fences. Dale Peters recorded another second, this time on Cash or Card, the joint-favourite, which didn't have the late pace to quicken and ended up a dozen lengths behind the winner.

The Veterans race, next, was another attritional race with only two finishers from seven starters. This time it was Golan Fortune (Thomas McCain-Mitchell) who held off a spirited but unsuccessful rally by Dale Peters on Thunderstruck to win by two and a half lengths for Barry Denvir.

The bookies had the final maiden race down as a head-to-head between Dale Peters' Line Em Up and Wotnowcato for Jack Teal but both lost out to Ellie Callwood riding 6/1-shot Karismatik who was tracked by Line Em Up to the last before the latter pulled up leaving the winner to go and win by a large margin from Wotnowcato and Atlantic Fleet who were a few lengths apart and the only remaining finishers.

Thank you to all those who supported the meeting. We hope you will return to Dingley for the last meeting of the Midlands season on the 25th May, for which the Fitzwilliam will be your hosts.

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