THE FERNIE AT DINGLEY – PREVIEW

The Fernie point-to-point race meeting is all set to take place this Sunday, 5th May at Dingley racecourse on the A427, East of Market Harborough.

The team at Dingley have pulled out all the stops to make the ground as good as possible for this weekend’s meeting, with the ground being aerated and watered thoroughly during the week leading up to the fixture to provide the best ground conditions possible.

There are two pony races before the main racecard, the first at 1pm, while the horse racing begins at 2pm.

The big race of the day is also the feature race for the Midlands Pointing region: The Fernie Four-Miler. Seventeen horses are entered for this race, run over a course of four-miles and 100 yards. The top-rated horses in this one are Man Of Steel and One Conemara but there are lots who could feature in a race over this distance. Man Of Steel would be the mount of record breaking female jockey Gina Andrews, and has won on his last two outings, most recently over 3 miles and six furlongs at Godstone at the beginning of April. One Conemara should stay the distance, having finished third in the Grimthorpe Gold Cup at the end of March. Another in-form stayer is Franks A Million, with two recent wins and the ability to stay 3m 6f. Farmer Matt lost by head to Man Of Steel this time last year but hasn’t been on form recently.

The first horse race of the afternoon is the PPORA Club Members Conditions race. Sixteen horses are entered here, including King Of The Clothe, which gave jockey Gina Andrews the record for wins by a female jockey in a season, a fortnight ago at Edgcote. Competition could come from brother Jack on Toby Lerone, which won here last time out. Spring Cover should be one to watch in this one, an intermediate horse which won here at the last meeting. The same owners have Bardista in the race, which won at Thorpe Lodge on Easter Monday – hard to see both running.

The Novice Riders race is next, with plenty of runners with recent winners. Susquehanna River has enjoyed a successful season to date, with four wins under Harry Arkwright this season. Alex Chadwick with Net D’Ecosse and George Chatterton and Minella Friend will both be trying to spoil the party, Local favourite Done A Runner won here at the Woodland Pytchley meeting a couple of weeks ago. According To Dan won at the Guilsborough meeting with Jack Andrews aboard – here owner Steven Bazeley will be in the plate. Amigo won on Easter Monday, as did Bi Quini Tiep, albeit under Dale Peters on that occasion.

The Restricted race, next, could produce an interesting contest. Baxxos is top-rated but hasn’t been on song recently, while Pelegrine Falcon, Occupied and Forgiving are more in the groove. Cornerman is unpredictable and wouldn’t start here last time but ran well at Garthorpe with Jack Andrews on board last weekend. Velvet Cloud’s second at Mollington last time is a good indicator of form.

The last two races are both maidens. The first is part of The Jockey Club-sponsored series, exclusively for mares, the other an open maiden. The latter has several four and five year old horses with significant weight advantages over the older horses, which will be ones to watch.