Fitzwilliam at Dingley - Report

Gina Andrews and Not That Fuissse

The weather gods were kind in the run up to the final meeting of the Midlands Area season and the going at Dingley was declared to be good across the course for the Fitzwilliam meeting on May 25th.

38 runners contested six races across the card, with both Dale Peters and Jack Teal recording doubles and Gina Ellis/.Andrews completing a win which moves her ever closer to the unbelievable achievement of 400 winners in point-to-points.

The Ladies Open race turned out to be the swansong for jockey Kate Gowing, who announced after the race that she would not be riding in points again. Her family had two horses entered here, Not That Fuisse, trained by Gina Ellis, and No Hassle Hoff, from the Turners' yard near Bury St. Edmunds. Rather than not declare one, she offered the ride on the former to Gina, who had never raced the eleven-year-old before. Gina led for the majority of the race but was overtaken by Gowing who looked to be going out in style before No Hassle Hoff slowed suddenly just before the last and lost all momentum. They were overtaken by Ellie Callwood on Precious Bounty, Gina Ellis on Not That Fuisse and Izzie Marshall on Golden Tobouggan, but it was Ellis who had the running to snatch victory in the run-in. Cue photos with two jockeys in the frame, one as owner, the other as rider.

Gina Ellis and Not That Fuisse
Gina Ellis and Not That Fuisse.© 2024 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

The Mens Open saw a very impressive performance by Daniel Cherriman's Reikers Island who flew off to a big early lead and proceeded to make all the running. It was only in the final stages that spectators began to worry that he might not have enough left to finish the job, but he rallied and held off a spirited challenge from Take To Heart (Paddy Barlow) to win by a neck.

Dani Cherriman and Reikers Island
Daniel Cherriman and Reikers Island © 2024 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

The day's racing began with a level 2 Conditions race with seven runners which was led for most of the race by Gina Andrews on Killinkere, before being headed with two to jump. The pair who timed their move to perfection were the five-year-old Alan Hill-trained Soldier Unknown (Izzie Marshall) - already a triple winner in points - and last year's winner of this same race, favourite Thunderstruck (Dale Peters) who ran on the clear winner by twelve lengths. "Thunderstruck needs to go right handed and, ideally, decent ground and this was the first time he’s had the two together this season," Peters said.

Dale Peters and Thunderstruck
Dale Peters and Thunderstruck © 2024 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

Not satisfied with one, Dale Peters followed this up immediately with a second winner, this time on Mountain Assault. This was one of the best finishes of the day, though, as Peters was pushed all the way by Jack Teal on Star Present and James King on Get Cracking who both finished within a length and a half of the winner. Dale Peters said,"Mountain Assault has had a nightmare of a season. He was ready to run end of February when he had a nasty accident coming home from a piece of work and nearly cut his hind leg off, and that’s no exaggeration. We’ve been up against it to get him back to run this time so was really satisfying to see him run like that. He’s pretty talented and has no miles on him for his age. So hopefully we get a clean run at him next season."

The day's racing concluded with two maiden races. The first was over the traditional three miles and was led almost from start to finish by the Andrew Pennock-trained Jasmin des Bordes (Mrs V. Frost) until they were caught in the run-in by Jack Teal and King's Charger, who had been last for much of the race. "I've not had him [King's Charger] long," Jack said, "I got him from Richie McGrath as an unraced seven-year-old. He was very green at Hexham and again today, but we got the job done., which is awesome." Jasmin des Bordes was beaten by a neck, with Freestyle Fighter trained by Steve Wynn and ridden by Henry Bailey.

Jack Teal and CallmeSusie
Jack Teal and Callmesusie © 2024 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

Finally we had a two-and-half-mile Maiden race which did have weight allowances for age. Twelve runners came to the starter but once again it was Jack Teal and Callmesusie who hit the front with one to jump and went on to win comfortably by four lengths from Lady Lamorna (William Thirlby), with Pappillondelumiere (Paddy Barlow) a little way back in third. Jack Teal said, "She deserves it, Callmesusie. I'm chuffed to get winner for Paul Clifton. Paul sponsors me as a rider and he's a big supporter of the yard, so I'm delighted to get one on a board for him. It's been a long while coming because although this mare's always gone very well at home it's been a case of just getting the key to her on the track. Took a bit of time. She's good at pulling up!"

That concludes the 2024 Midlands Point-to-point season, during which we lost a number of fixtures to the weather. We would very much like to thank all those members of public, trainers, owners and particularly our volunteers for all the hard work that they put in throughout the season to provide the sport. Midlands Pointing fixtures will begin again in January 2025 fixtures fixture dates will be announced in due course after they have been finalised, so please keep an eye on the fixtures pages on our website for up-to-date information for your diary next year.

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