Woodland Pytchley Evening Races – Report

The Midlands Area season drew to a close with a rearranged evening meeting hosted by the Woodland Pytchley at Dingley.

There was all to play for at the top of the Midlands Area Championships, especially in the Gentleman Jockey section where Dale Peters had several rides with which to overtake Philip Armson in the overall standings.

Peters started that campaign with a bang by winning the opener, the Hunt Members Race, with Toby Hunt’s Done A Runner. Although they started as big odds-on favourites there were times  when 8/1 shot High Hopper, the mount of Rory Bevin, might have worried them over the last mile. High Hopper finished second by 3 lengths or so, Knowwhentofoldem third behind them.

The maiden for younger horses which followed was an attritional race, with only three of the eight runners completing the course. Halloween Harry (Z. Baker) took the spoils in this one, beating Fenjack (Jack Andrews) by a length. Both seemed to have a chance approaching the last but the winner had more to give in the run in. Third in this one went to Linkenholt, leader for large parts of the race, who dropped off in the final stages.

The Ladies Open provided an excellent finish, with three horses crossing the line within a couple of lengths. Much of the running had been done by Can Mestret (Gina Andrews) who had led from the end of the first lap until headed on the run in. This left For ‘n’ Against (Izzy Marshall) and Extreme Appeal (Tabitha Worsley) slightly ahead and competing the final few yards. In the end it was Extreme Appeal who won it by a neck to give Johnny Weatherby the win for his Preston Lodge Stud team.

The Gredley family’s Just Cause was the runaway victor of the Mens Open, with Jack Andrews in the saddle on this occasion. This was an impressive win, albeit from a well-rated horse, pulling clear of the field with a couple still to jump and drawing well clear to record an eleven-length winning margin. Second placed Dido tried to chase the winner over the final fences but didn’t have the same reserves in the tank. Frank A Million got the third.

Alice Stevens did her chances of winning the National Novice Rider title no harm when she piloted Derksen to victory in the 12-runner PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders. It was the fourth win of the season for this combination and the horses second win from two runs at Dingley, the other under Tabitha Worsley. Starting as favourite, Derksen was never far from the lead and, although chased home by Dusk Till Dawn and Skyhill Allstar, never looked in danger by this stage.

Joint top of the Novice Ladies with Alice Stevens prior to this meeting was Isabel Williams, so the former’s win in the previous race kept the pressure on the latter and her Restricted ride Burn Baby Byrne. The five-year-old didn’t let her down, though, as they took the lead over the last fence and won comfortably from long time leader Staple Head and Dale Peters, in second. Isabel’s win here keeps the title race alive for the Novice Ladies, while Dale’s second place secured the area title for him, after his win in the first.

Finally the last race provided one of the best of the evening, with all three runners in contention entering the final stages. Favourite Chosen Tribe (Tom McClorey) was joined at the second last by Celestino (James King) before both were caught at the last by a rallying Milzipa and Alex Edwards who pulled away in the straight to win by a couple of lengths.

The Midlands Area would like to thank all of our supporters, both on the track and off the track, for your continued dedication to the sport this season. The weather has presented many challenges and to have enough horses and spectators to run an evening meeting in the second week of June is testament to all of their hard work.

Enjoy an Evening of Racing on Saturday 9th June

Dingley is hosting a rare evening race meeting this Saturday (9th June) for the rescheduled Easter point-to-point meeting for the Woodland Pytchley Hunt.

Gates open at 2pm with the first race getting underway at 4pm. With the six races that had been originally scheduled for Easter Saturday, racing will continue into the evening offering a true ‘end of season’ party atmosphere. With a number of National, Midlands area and Dingley awards still up for grabs, the level of competition on the night is likely to be stronger than ever.

Our bowl-like field of view means you can see the entirety of the racecourse from your barbeque or picnic in front of your car, so make sure you bring plenty of friends, food and drink to make the most of our fabulous setting.

In addition to pre-race entertainment and parade of hounds, there will be a bouncy castle and lots more for children.

There will also be a wide range of goods on offer from the bespoke array of trade stands, and racegoers will be able to enjoy all the usual excitement with both a Tote and Bookmakers betting facility onsite.

The evening will conclude with live music, a licensed bar and eatery to enjoy once the racing action has concluded.

Additional Ticket information:
For those who had pre-purchased E-tickets for the original Easter Saturday meeting, the vouchers will remain valid on the rescheduled date. Discounted rates of £14 per person can be purchased HERE or £15 on the day – prices include your full raceday guide.

Admittance is free for children aged 16 and under.

Fitzwilliam (Milton) Race Round Up

The Fitzwilliam Milton Point to Point at Dingley Racecourse 2018  102

An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a good day’s racing at Dingley on Saturday 26th May as the Fitzwilliam hosted the second of three fixtures at the Market Harborough course.

The first race on the card was the Hunt Members and was won by in-form local jockey and trainer Dale Peters and favourite Bi Quini Tiep, who finished alone. A second win on the bounce for this combination.

The PPORA Club Members Conditions race which followed this was won gamely by Rendezvous Peak (Miss A. Stevens) who made the running and hung on well to take the victory  by a length from favourite Bavard Court (Miss L. Allan). According To Trev took third having come back from a long way back.

Pre-race interest produced joint favourites for the Mens Open race, which came next. Aunty Joan (James Martin) and Jimmy The Jetplane (James Jackson-Stops) went off at 13/8 and indeed did prove to be the ones to beat. Aunty Joan managed to hold on and record the victory by two and a half lengths in a good finish, with Pay The King third. This was Aunty Joan’s first outing in open company and proved to be more than up to it. Definitely one to watch.

Five lined up in the Ladies Open.  Midnight King continued his run of form under Claire Hardwick to beat the race favourite Ravethebrave and Izzie Marshall into second place. Sa Kaldoun was another to feature, and finished third, but neither second nor third place horses looked to have enough to overcome the winner.

The restricted race was won very impressively by Bengo, ridden by Archie Wright. Owner Nick Wright was delighted. “After a long lay off we were pleased with his run at Fakenham where he was beaten by a good horse. He then disappointed at Northaw next time, so we were delighted with the Dingley run on good ground which seemed to suit him.” Cornerman was second, 25 lengths back, The Glover just behind them.

The open maiden race provided a very close finish between Bobs Call (P. Armson) and Mr Snuffles (Tommie O’Brien), the former taking it by a neck. Philip Armson is making a real impression this season and is clearly going to be a jockey to watch in the future.

Tommie O’Brien wasn’t to remain disappointed for very long because he won the two and a half mile maiden which followed. His mount, Elyaqim, held off a late charge from second placed Chosen Tribe (Tom McClorey), with their 21lb weight allowance no doubt an advantage.

The next race meeting at Dingley will be the rescheduled Woodland Pytchley on Saturday 9th June – gates will open at 2 pm and racing begins at 4 pm. Tickets online now – click here to save on advance bookings. 

Silent Auction – Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt


Some fantastic lots have been confirmed for the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt Silent Auction 2018 – bids are now open!

To place your bid, please email Katie Thory katiethory@gmail.com with the amount you would like to bid on, the name of the item as well as your contact number. Bids must be placed by email between 21st May and 6 pm on Friday 25th May. Alternatively, bids can be placed in person in a stand by the number board at Dingley Races this Saturday until 5 pm.

The auction lots are as follows:

1) National Stud – A private tour of the National Stud for 2 with a stallion show, lunch in the coffee shop and 2 tickets to any Newmarket race meeting – Kindly donated by Tim Lane, The National Stud

2) Two day passes and a car pass to Burghley Horse Trials with a course walk with Richard Jones (Sponsored by Dodson and Horrell) – Kindly donated by Burghley Horse Trials

3) Dinner Party for 6 people cooked by a professional chef in your own home (you supply the ingredients)

4) A day’s fly fishing for 2 at private lakes in Southorpe followed by afternoon tea with a guest each – by kind permission of Mrs Pip Parker

5) A day at the races for 2 with Nick Carlisle, BHA inspector of courses, to see what goes on behind the scenes during a meeting. To include entrance badges and a course walk at one of the following courses: Bangor on Dee, Beverley, Chelmsford, Chester, Doncaster, Fakenham, Huntingdon, Leicester, Market Rasen, Newmarket, Nottingham, Pontefract, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton or Yarmouth – Kindly donated by Nick Carlisle

6) A tour of the Fitzwilliam hunt kennels and stables for upto 10 people – Kindly donated by Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and family

7) A days hunting for 2 with the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt – Kindly donated by the Masters of the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt

8) Two Premier tickets for Southwell races – Kindly donated by Mark Clayton, Southwell racecourse 9) A days hunting for 2 with the Kilkenny Hunt, Ireland

10) A Round of golf for 2 at Peterborough Milton Golf Club followed by three course Sunday lunch at the White Hart, Ufford

11) A Wednesday for 2 with the Fernie Hunt – Kindly donated by the joint Masters of the Fernie Hunt

12) Two Grandstand tickets for Southwell races – Kindly donated by Mark Clayton , Southwell racecourse

Generous sponsorship for Fitzwilliam (Milton) Meeting

The Fitzwilliam (Milton) hunt are pleased to confirm the race sponsors and partners for their upcoming Point-to-Point fixture here are Dingley on Saturday 26th May; gates open at 11 with racing from 2pm.

Race 1 – The Fitzwilliam (Milton) HUNT MEMBERS, SUBSCRIBERS & FARMERS Race, sponsored by CR Peggs Ltd

Race 2 – The eight-year-olds and over PPORA Club Members CONDITIONS Race, sponsored by Norbrook Laboratories

Race 3  – The MENS OPEN Race sponsored by Roxhill Developments 

Race 4 – The LADIES OPEN Race sponsored by Sharp Nutrition

Race 5 – The RESTRICTED Race sponsored by Saffrey Champness

Race 6 – The Open MAIDEN Race sponsored by Mark Weatherhead

Race 7  –  The Open MAIDEN Race sponsored by C&N Fabrications 

The Medical Sponsors on the day are Fisher German Market Harborough and Toads School of Driving

Sponsors of the Commentary this year are JB Specialist Refurbishments.


Fernie photos

Lots of fantastic photos from the sun drenched weekend are now available – whether you were visiting, competing or supporting – check out the Official Dingley Photographer Rose Rodgers website:

Social scenes – http://roserodgersphotography.zenfolio.com/p359499653

Next up at Dingley is the Fizwilliam Milton on 26th May – tickets & info here: bit.ly/DingleyTickets

Dingley Report – Fernie 2018

Dingley Report – Fernie 2018

Bumper crowd witness impressive performances 

A huge crowd descended on Dingley last Sunday for its popular Fernie meeting – and witnessed one of the best fixtures held at the natural amphitheatre racetrack for many years. Held under glorious blue skies, this annual occasion hosts the most prestigious amateur race in the Midlands region, the Fernie Four-Miler, for which the winner collects the Fernie Gold Cup, but much of the picnic gossip in the car parks focussed not only on that race but also the much-improved racecourse conditions.

After a litany of earlier point-to-point cancellations in the region, the meeting showed the sport at its very best and the huge crowds were rewarded with plenty of raceday attractions beyond the racing itself.

Two exciting pony races got the afternoon started. The first, for novice riders was won by Alice Cooke on her pony Over To Kerry, beating Harry Lee and River Dancer into second and Fifi Buxton and Guto into third. The second race was for more seasoned combinations and this was won by Violet Barton and Miss Wonderful. Henry Main and Madame Mimi were second, Caitlin Stocks third with Indian River. The enthusiasm of the younger generation set the scene for the quality of sport that followed.

Following the parade of Fernie hounds, and the presentation of a £1,550 cheque to Headway, the brain injury charity, following collections raised by members of the Fernie Hunt earlier in the year, the first horse race of the day was the Watling-JCB PPORA Club Members Conditions race which provided a stirring finish. Favourite She’s Real (Tom Chatfield-Roberts) set a fast pace but Aunty Joan (James Martin) was able to close the gap in the final lap and they were very close as they came round the final bend towards the last fence. As is so often the case, the best jump from the two challengers at the last was sufficient to land the spoils, and this time it was Aunty Joan who gained ground in the air accelerating away to beat the Helen Connors-trained She’s Real into second by nine lengths. Willflywontsink and Gina Andrews very nearly caught the second placed horse in the run in, getting third by a neck, while Bawden Rocks finished fourth.

The second race was for maiden horses, over the shorter distance of 2m4f under the banner of Sharnford Tractors. After setting a very good lead for a good part of the race, Dickie Collinson was unseated following a jink from favourite Parsons Avenue on the final bend, leaving well-fancied Mine’s A Pint to come through the chasing pack and lead the field home. First Goodnight (Geoff Barfoot-Saunt) was only four lengths behind, with Philip Armson and Speed Lord in third. The winner was ridden and trained by Dale Peters who was only just beginning his champagne-fuelled afternoon, as it turned out.

The novice rider races this season have been hotly contested, with a number of the aspiring jockeys showing their skills with wins around the country. The Charles Stanley Novice Rider race attracted some excellent entries and ten runners came to post, including Meisha Micklewright and L’Eldorado who have three wins already this season and went off as odds-on favourites. Having unseated his jockey, Glory Hunter decided to continue and, after a near miss at a previous fence, jumped across L’Eldorado and unseated Micklewright, who had little chance.  The field were quite spread out at the finish, with 12/1 shot Pantxoa (Jacob Pritchard Webb) taking an impressive first-ever race victory for his jockey by eleven lengths from Dusk Till Dawn (W. Marshall) and Nightscape (Charlie Buckle) in third.

The feature race of the day, and the Midlands Area Association seasonal highlight, was the Welland Valley Feeds Mixed Open Fernie Four-Miler. Four miles is a test of stamina on any ground so this is always a highlight of the national point-to-pointing season. The two most fancied horses in the race were Legal Legend, piloted by Nick Meek, and Man Of Steel, with Gina Andrews in the plate. Neither had it all their own way as the lead went to and fro throughout the race. Gina Andrews began to control the pace from the three mile mark, and when the inevitable final challenge came from Legal Legend towards the penultimate fence, it was Man Of Steel who had something left in the tank to hold them off and take the race in thrilling fashion. Demood (James Martin) produced their usual stirring finish to take second by only a couple of lengths, demoting Legal Legend to third in a renewal of the highest order.

The Hewitsons Restricted race saw a second victory of the day for Dale Peters, who trained and rode the winner Bi Quini Tiep to beat Cornerman (Jack Andrews) and Inmyday (Gina Andrews) into second and third respectively. The winner was impressive in his ability to take the race on early and maintain that pace. Favourite Top Garry (Page Fuller) never seemed to have quite enough pace on this faster ground and finished fourth.

Having hit the deck in an earlier race, Dickie Collinson was more determined than ever when piloting a very impressive winner with Angelsea Lace in the Jockey Club and Deene Park Mare’s and Fillies Maiden race. They set a relentlessly fast pace from the outset and kept it going, taking the course in their stride to win by the distance between fences.  Babbiloora (Page Fuller) and Act Like You Know (C. Todd) were the only other finishers.

The concluding race of the day provided the closest of finishes for an enthralled crowd in the Summit Engineering and Matthew Teece Open Maiden race, this time over three miles. The favourite was Better Hand (Olly Finnegan) but he was soon in a ding-dong battle down the back straight with the energised Dale Peters and The Unmentionable for the majority of the second half of the race. As the crowd encouraged both horses to the line, it was the rider/trainer/part-owner Dale Peters on The Unmentionable who just managed to fend off the surging finish of Better Hand to take the race on the line by a head. It completed a three-timer for Dale Peters on the day, and was a considerable tonic for him after a bad fall when riding at Hexham the previous evening.

Although the weather may have stalled the excitement of amateur racing in the Midlands in the last few months, this meeting demonstrated that is plenty of firepower left in the ranks of many trainers – which bodes well for the remaining meetings at Dingley on Saturday 26th May and the evening meeting on Saturday 9th June. With many racegoers lapping up the wonderful racing and fabulous setting with impromptu picnics and parties long in to the late evening sunshine, it was a day that many will remember for a while to come.

The next race meeting in the Midlands Area is the Melton Hunt Club meeting on Sunday 13th May at Garthorpe. Tickets for that meeting are available online at midlandspointing.com in advance for £10 but will be £13 on the gate on the day (Under 16s free).

The next fixture at Dingley is 26th May – the Fitzwilliam (Milton) followed by the rescheduled Woodland Pytchley on 9th June. Tickets for both here. 


Fernie preview

The next meeting in the Midlands point-to-point area is the Fernie’s at Dingley, on Sunday 6th May 2018. The day will present a seven-race card which includes the area’s feature race, The Fernie Four-Miler, which starts at 3.45pm.

All but one races on the card have the potential to exceed the safety limit number of entries for this course. There is no guarantee that all the entered horses will travel to Dingley. There are many horses which have more than one race entered on the day, and other entries for other meetings on the day, but visitors should be aware that some of the races may be split and, in that situation, the timings of races would indeed change.

The meeting starts at 2pm with the PPORA Club Members Conditions Race. An entry list of 34 includes several horses with ratings over 100, but also includes a large number with entries in other races on this card. Caryto Des Brosses comes straight from a fourth victory in a row at Garthorpe last weekend and is clearly a form horse, as is Keel Over, with three wins out of four this season. Aunty Joan, Benefit of Luck and Hurricane Vic all have a win recently, while Mr Madeit was second last time at Guilsborough. John Chatfeild-Roberts has three very capable horses entered in this race and will presumably run the one which suits the going. Love Manhattan, Our Milly Acres and She’s Real all won last time they raced.

The Open Maiden which follows is being run over two and a half miles and is probably the most likely to be split into two divisions, having 33 entries with a safety number of 16. There are plenty of horses here who have seconds on their record: Chosen Tribe, Order In Court, Parsons Avenue and Racing Eagle. Lucarno Express is another horse of interest. All the mares will carry half a stone less than the geldings and Midnight Tipple benefits from the four-year-old allowance and carries only ten stone.

Our third race is for Novice Riders and favourite for this one is probably Just Cause. Jockey Tim Gredley has three wins this season, two of them on this horse, though it has not run on this course before. The combination of L’Eldorado and jockey Meisha Micklewright have also had a successful season, with three wins and a second (in a Ladies Open). Max O and jockey Philip Armson have won a maiden and restricted race this season but this is there first foray into a Novice Riders race.

The feature race of the day is the fourth on the card: the mixed open Fernie Four-Miler. It is run over a distance of just over four miles, so stamina is key here. A quick glance at the form of Warden Hill might not do this horse justice. His last four starts have been in hunter chases, the last two being Foxhunters. This time last year he lost a four mile race by a neck so we know he can do the distance. Their biggest opponent could be Cherry Coward-trained One Conemara who has one over 3m 5f on good ground at Corbridge. Another who should stay well could be Legal Legend. He was second over 3m 6f at Cocklebarrow carrying nearly a stone more than he will here. James Henderson’s Abricot De L’Oasis won a hunter chase last time but over the shorter distance of 2m 6f. Gina Andrews is down to ride either Excitable Island or Man Of Steel, either of which should compete in this one.

The Restricted race which follows brings horses with only one win to their name. For some of them that was a recent victory, for others a while ago. Among the in-form horses we can count InMyDay, The Glover, The Jaffna Queen, Top Garry, Dulwich Hill and the aforementioned Benefit Of Luck.

The last two races of the day are both maidens. The first, part of the Jockey Club series for mares, has 18 entries. There is a big age range in this field, from the well-rated Coco Shambhala at ten, down to two unraced four-yeard-olds who will race with a stone and a half less on board.

Finally we have another open maiden race, this time over three miles. Ones to watch here could be Order In Court, Staple Head, Spring Cover, Racing Eagle, Jamars Star, Chosen Tribe and Buster West. There are also horse who have not raced on a point-to-point course before so all will depend on which horses choose which races and who is ready on the day.

As usual there will be a range of activities away from the course, for adult and child alike. Lots of trade stands, including plenty of different caterers and a bar, and bookmakers.