Some fantastic racing action was enjoyed by a large crowd as the Dingley races season drew to a close on Saturday. The Dingley team had done a great job watering the course to produce ground officially described as "good, good to firm in places".
One of the highlights came in the Fisher German Men's Open Race where trainer Gerald Bailey was responsible for the winner and the second. Gunmoney ridden by John Russell and Sandpipers partnered by Alex Vaughan-Jones gave the crowds a thrilling race but in the end it was Sandpipers who just got the upper hand winning by a narrow margin. "That was a great race and the yard has had a good season with 16 winners; 14 of them for owner riders. These two horses have been fantastic servants; Sandpipers has run 8 times and Gunmoney has been out 9 times." Said the winning handler. With Bailey's son Johnny winning on Proximo at Garthorpe last Sunday and then with Full Trottle at Fontwell on Thursday the family are enjoying a purple patch.
Prolific winner It Was Me had his task made easier when the well backed High Counsel refused to race in the Cliff Sharp Memorial Ladies Open race. It Was Me won by a wide margin; Jack Bene was second with Viking Ridge in third. "This was his fifth consecutive win and my seventh of the season. He did test my stick ability though!" Said winning rider Carey Williamson referring to a serious jumping error on the first circuit.
Point Proven won the three runner opening Member's race for rider Lucy Wheeler who has enjoyed an excellent season; however her luck ran out when she took a fall from Nightcap Jack who was in contention in the following race the PPORA Club Members Race For Novice Riders. Lucy has unfortunately broken her collar bone, an injury that prevented her from partnering Cottage Oak at Tabley the following day. The Novice riders' race was won by The Magherally Man and Lara Mahon who quickened clear of Conkies Lad and Safe Investment. The riders of the first three horses past the post scored points in the Harley Racing National Novice riders' Championship. The Magherally Man was winning for the sixth time this season and the 11 year old is currently on the market; he looks like a superb prospect for another young rider to enjoy next season.
Leading Dingley rider Dale Peters took the AGA Restricted race with I'llhavealook who was always prominent and beat Curnalee Coleen and Lord Baltimore fairly easily. Toby Hunt's ten year old won his Maiden at the Atherstone in 2012 and has been placed in all his starts since then but missed the 2014 campaign. I'llhavealook has the option of running in the Subaru Restricted Point-to-Point Series Final at Stratford on Friday 29th May. After racing Dale Peters collected the Morrison Cup for being the leading rider at Dingley races this season.
The Mark Weatherhead Machinery Ltd Open Maiden Race was won by Wah Wah Taysee, trained by Nick Pearce and ridden by Stuart Robinson. The 15-8 favourite Wah Wah Taysee was always travelling well and beat Some Surprise and In The Gate. The day concluded with Race 7, The Fox & Hounds At Great Gidding Open Maiden Race run over 2m 4f and favourite backers left Dingley happy as Fair Ask ridden by Gina Andrews came home in front; the fifth winning favourite of the day.
This was the final meeting in the East Anglia Point-to-Point area; Gina Andrews and Dicky Collinson have ended the season as the leading riders.