Wednesday 1st May is a day when Pontefract traditionally looks to the future stars of racing, both human and equine. It’s the 30th Annual Northern Racing College Charity Day!
The race meeting is unique in the fact that the majority of the card sees races sponsored by different bookmakers who traditionally set aside their commercial rivalry on this day in order to encourage the grass roots and future of the sport.
The Northern Racing College, based just outside Doncaster, was set up in 1984 and provides a range of courses at all levels for people who are looking at the horseracing industry as a future career. It also offers those currently in the business the chance to develop their qualifications and skills.
The racing on the day casts an eye to future stars. The opening 2yo Novice Stakes, sponsored by EBF and William Hill is historically an informative event. The race was won a few years ago by the subsequent globetrotting superstar, Peniaphobia, a regular in Group 1 races in Hong Kong in recent years. Kevin Ryan took the race with Celebrity Dancer last year who himself looks to be pretty smart and went on to be placed in the valuable Goffs yearling sales race at York. In fact, Kevin Ryan could be a trainer to keep an eye out for on this day – he trained three winners on this day last year with Kings Full and Savannah Moon adding to his tally!
The 3yo Maiden on the card also has a rich history – John Gosden’s Royal Ascot winner ‘Remote’ made his debut in this a few years ago while last year, Mark Johnston’s Making Miracles was just touched off before continuing rapid improvement throughout the season running in some of the most competitive long distance handicaps around at Royal Ascot and York. We’ll be on the lookout for another superstar to hit the Ponte turf this year.
Again, looking ahead to the stars of tomorrow, the card concludes with the 3rd Round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Handicap. Last year’s winner Foxtrot Knight was ridden by Sebastian Woods. The jockey now rides for the yard of champion Pontefract trainer, Richard Fahey.
As always seems to be the case, Fahey himself had a winner on the card last year and if he can win again this year he will unlock the “It’s Champion” Promotion, where for half an hour after the winner has been announced a special offer will be available to all racegoers on course. This promotion also applies if Danny Tudhope (Pontefract 2018 Champion Jockey) rides a winner at the course in 2019.
The Racecourse Postcode Lottery gives the opportunity for anyone based in Sheffield to come racing for free. By sending a Stamped Addressed envelope to the Racecourse, residents can get a ticket to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure (Only 100 tickets available).
The Racecourse will once again be offering discounted tickets to those who book in advance – see www.pontefract-races.co.uk for more information.