Sunday 20th August marks the last of the three popular Family Day fixtures at Pontefract this season with the final weekend fixture of the year being run for the first time as The Sunday Service Family Day! For the race meeting, the Racecourse are getting ‘in the zone’ and setting up themed zones around the stands and enclosures to encourage racegoers to learn a little bit about, and engage with, all aspects of the sport.
On the day, there’ll be areas set up such as The Tipster Zone, The Industry Zone, The Jockey Zone, The Horse Zone and The Kids Zone as well as a Newcomers Zone for those who’ve never been racing before.
As has become the custom on Sundays at Pontefract, there’s a lot going on for the kids in the Picnic Enclosure. With kid’s rides, a circus, face painting and free sweets, activity books and racecards, there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied while mums and dads enjoy some top class racing. Eagle eyed kids need to keep a look out for the lucky Golden Horseshoe too – there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it!
There are also free Pony rides with the Ponte Clip Clop Ponies AND you can take a look behind the scenes with our minibus trips down to the start. Running from the Picnic Enclosure Entrance gates for the start of chosen races, it gives racegoers the chance to watch the calm before the equine superstars explode in to action.
The feature race on the day, and the richest race to be run at Pontefract in 2017, is the £55,000 EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies’ Stakes. The race has a rich history with some very classy fillies on the role of honour. The 2016 prize went the way of Mehronissa who went on to finish 4th in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup before a trip to America for the Breeders Cup. The race sponsors, Highfield Farm, have had a number of superb horses through their paddocks in recent years including Group 1 winners Mayson and Garswood.
There is some high class supporting action on the track too. The £13,000 tote sponsored handicap over 1½m last year saw the highly touted Regal Monarch take the spoils. Mark Johnston’s talented horse was then sold to race in Australia – hopefully ending up as a Melbourne Cup hope one day. The Stayers are once again back in action for Round 5 of the Stayers Championship, in a race sponsored by Moor Top Farm Shop. Former winner Tuscan Gold currently heads the standings but with a whole host of horses snapping at his hooves, the prize is still up for grabs!
There are some special Family Day Tickets also available when booked in advance. 2 adults and their children can take advantage of a special price of just £23. There is also limited availability for the new Sunday Specials packages. If you’d like to take advantage of any of the special advance packages, please view the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk ) or give them a call on 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2.15pm and the gates open at 11.30am!