Category Archives: Pontefract

THE SUNDAY SERVICE FAMILY DAY

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!

LADIES DAY IN SRI LANKA

Racing and fashion combine in the annual Pontefract Ladies Day on Wednesday 9th August and there’s never been a better excuse to buy a new outfit! Courtesy of RIU Hotels and Resorts, Pontefract Racecourse is offering an all inclusive, week long holiday for 2 to Sri Lanka. The prize includes return flights from Manchester. RIU Hotels and Resorts are also providing a fabulous runners’ up prize of a 3 night break for 2 to their new hotel in Dublin! With such a fantastic offering, the competition is bound to be fiercely contested!
If you’d like to be considered for the competition, then the Heart Angels will be on the lookout for the Best Dressed Ladies from the minute that the gates open at 12noon and they will allocate numbered cards to 100 lucky finalists before the judging gets under way in the Parade Ring at 1pm. This year, the judging panel will consist of the Heart Breakfast Show team of Dixie and Emma, along with the National Business Manager for RIU, Maria Battersby.
The Racecourse is urging anyone wishing to be considered for the Best Dressed Lady competition to please make sure that they arrive early on the day so that they do not miss out. There’s an added incentive to arrive early as the first 500 ladies through the Premier Enclosure entrance will also get a free glass of bubbly and a buttonhole.
There’s some fantastic action on the track too. The feature race is the £15,000 tiesplanet.com – Ladies Love Guys In Ties Handicap. Aside from being one of the best named races on the racing calendar, it’s also a high class handicap for 3 year olds. Last year’s winner, Stars Over The Sea, has since left Mark Johnston and has joined Henry De Bromhead’s team in Ireland. Who knows, he may one day face the 2015 winner, Penhill, who won at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year for the all conquering team of champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins!
Local bookmakers Jayne and Steve Robinson sponsor 2 races on the card on Ladies Day – a two year old Novice race and a handicap for 3 year olds and up. They’ll be on the track on the day offering up the best prices for their races! There’s a £10,000 bonus on offer to the winner of the 2 year old race, taking the prize money on offer to £18,000! The 2016 winner, Perfect Madge, went on to compete in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket and the end of last season so we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the winner of the 2017 renewal.
Sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady competition, RIU hotels and resorts, also sponsor the veterans handicap on the day. Ralphy Boy has won the last two runnings of this race, beating Richard Fahey’s Chiswick Bey on both occasions! Both are reportedly on course for their third showdown and Richard Fahey will be hoping that it’s a case of 3rd time lucky!
Racecourse contract cleaners, Solutions 4 Cleaning, sponsor the opening race on the card for amateur Gentleman Riders. Silver Alliance and jockey Ross Birkett took the race for the second time when he powered clear in 2016.
With the Park Suite Restaurant, Marquee and Hospitality Boxes already fully booked on Ladies Day, racegoers are encouraged to book their tickets and badges early to avoid disappointment. With a small number of ‘Premier Packages’ still available, there’s still the chance to upgrade your Ladies Day out! To book, or to view full details of the day, please visit the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk ) or give the office a call on 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2.10pm and the gates open at 12noon.

GO RACING IN YORKSHIRE SUMMER FESTIVAL FAMILY DAY

The second Family Day of the 2017 season at Pontefract on Sunday 30th July is also the final day of the 10th Annual Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival. With racing taking place in the White Rose County throughout the preceding week, there’s going to be a real festival feel to the days’ proceedings. Trainers and jockeys will also be bidding to get that all important next win on the leader board as they aim to be top dog in their respective Championships sponsored by Goldsborough Hall and TVF Promotions.

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 AND free pony rides 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!

To celebrate the conclusion to the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, there’s even more happening than usual as ‘Horses Inside Out’ will also be painting Harry (a retired race horse) anatomically so that we can understand a little more about how our equine superstars work. With fascinating presentations and interactions with racegoers, those who missed this incredible spectacle last year mustn’t miss out this time round.

On the track, Sky Bet support the main race on the card – the 1 mile Listed Pomfret Stakes. David O’Meara has farmed the race in recent years. Custom Cut and Mondialiste have been sensational winners of recent runnings but it was Sir Michael Stoute who took the honours last year with Convey. He won the Group 3 Winter Derby earlier in the year and was most recently competing in the Group 1 Champions Mile in Hong Kong. Keep your eyes on this race – there are some fantastic horses on the roll of honour.

If high speed is your thing, tiesplanet.com sponsor the main supporting race – the £15,000 6f Handicap while Pontefract and District Golf Club Ltd sponsor an interesting Maiden over 1 mile which was won in 2016 by Khairaat. Sir Michael Stoute’s 4 year old won 2 more races following his win at Ponte and started favourite for the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot a few weeks ago.

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. The new Sunday Special packages are also selling fast – 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 2pm and the gates open at 11.30am!