Category Archives: Pontefract

totepool SEASON FINALE

After a great Summer of racing, the 2017 season comes to a close at Pontefract on Monday 23rd October. The final meeting ends what has been a fantastic year at the West Yorkshire track with some memorable racing. And the final raceday is no different with a top class Listed 2 year old race on the card.
The 25th running of the Listed totepool EBF Silver Tankard Stakes has an impressive roll of honour with past winners including Comic Strip, who won the 2004 renewal for Sir Mark Prescott before being sold to race in Hong Kong and becoming one of the most successful horses in their history. D’Bai took the honours in 2016 for Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin team – who’ll add their name to the trophy in 2017?
The main supporting race is the totepool Phil Bull Trophy Conditions Stakes. The race has a rich history of producing high class stayers – last year’s contest was taken by Mark Johnston’s Oriental Fox who won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the year. This race also marks the final leg of the 2017 Pontefract Stayers’ Championship. There are still 3 horses in with a chance of winning – previous winner, Tuscan Gold, heads the way from La Fritillaire and Madam Lilibet who have both been in excellent form at recent meetings.
A mile is a long way for youngsters to run and the opening race – a 1m nursery handicap for 2yos – often highlights a horse with stamina abundance. Mount Moriah took the contest last season and he’s been a revelation this year with thirds in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and the Irish St Leger.
There are still a few places available on the totepool Punters Package on Monday. For just £42, punters will be able to secure a place in the VIP totepool Suite in the Dalby Stand boxes with hot buffet, guest speaker and use of the private viewing balconies! To book, go online to www.pontefract-races.co.uk or give us a call on 01977 781307.
The Racecourse continues to run the Yorkshire Postcode Lottery. The scheme gives racegoers from Yorkshire the chance to come racing in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure for free. The last meeting of the season is again part of the promotion, and punters with postcodes from Bradford will be eligible for cheap entry on the last day.
There’ll also be a chance to buy some early Christmas presents too as the Injured Jockeys Fund will have their stand on course. You’ll also be able to purchase your 2018 Annual Badge at the 2017 price!
The action gets underway for the final time in 2017 at 2.20pm with gates opening at midday.

RACING THROUGH THE AUTUMN WITH PONTEFRACT

As the flat season continues to wind down, Pontefract stage their penultimate meeting of the season on Monday 9th October. The 15th race meeting of the year at the West Yorkshire venue is bound to be well supported as trainers get one last run in to their charges before the National Hunt season takes over.
It’s a fascinating card with the feature being ‘The Leslie Burton Fisher Handicap’ over 1 mile. The £18,000 prize money is bound to attract some interesting types. The Godolphin team have won the last two runnings of this handicap and their 2016 winner, Blair House, was second in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot earlier in the season. It’s traditionally a good day for the Godolphin team who have registered 5 winners at this meeting over the last 3 years – it may be worth keeping an eye on their runners.
Whilst it is not one of the more valuable races on the card, The Bluff Cove Handicap will certainly be one of the most fiercely contested, as it makes up the penultimate leg of the Stayers Championship at the course in 2017. The ‘Championship’ looks like going to the wire with current leader and former winner, Tuscan Gold, still in front of recent course winner La Fritillaire. The James Given trained runner, however, took the ‘Bluff Cove’ in 2016 and a repeat victory this year could see her take the lead in the championship.
The DEM Window Solutions Nursery is historically a fiercely competitive. Last year, there were 12 winners of future races in behind the winner, High Acclaim. In 2015, the race winner, Kassia, was also subsequently successful in Listed company, and so it’s a good race to keep an eye on with future winners in mind.
The Racecourse welcomes Napoleons Casino Bradford for the first time as they sponsor the one mile handicap on the card. Mr Cool Cash won the event last year and was recently runner up at the course in September. The race is bound to attract a few Ponte regulars!
The Racecourse continues to run the Yorkshire Postcode Lottery. The scheme gives racegoers from Yorkshire the chance to come racing for free in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. The last two meetings of the season are both part of the promotion, and punters with postcodes from Huddersfield and Bradford will be eligible for free entry at forthcoming meetings with Huddersfield postcodes the lucky ones on the 9th October. The action gets underway at 1.55pm with gates opening at midday.

RACING THROUGH THE AUTUMN

As the flat season continues to wind down, Pontefract stage their second September meeting on Thursday 28th.

The highlight of the card is the Simon Scrope Dalby Screw-Driver Handicap – a £20,000 Handicap over 1m2f. ‘Screw-Driver’ was the racing pin up in the early 19th century, winning at least 2 ‘Cup’ races. These ‘Cups’ consisted of four heats over 2 miles on the same day with the winner being the horse with the best aggregate score over the 8 miles! This impressive feat makes Screw-Driver just about the first Pontefract course specialist on record! Team Godolphin have an excellent record in this race and they have taken 3 of the last 4 runnings. Their ‘Memorial Day’ destroyed his rivals last year by an easy 8 lengths – it was the last time he was seen in Handicap company and has been plying his trade at Group level ever since. The race also honours Simon Scrope, former chairman at Pontefract, who sadly passed away in 2010.

All races from Pontefract are shown live on Racing UK – Sky Channel 432 – and the channel lends their name to three of the races on the card. The chief supporting race, the Visit The All New racinguk.com Handicap, sees the 6f sprinters burning up the track. The race attracted so many runners, it was split into two divisions last year with Lincoln taking the first round for Mick Channon and Graham Lee, who both registered doubles on the day following Father Mckenzie’s win in the opening Maiden – to be run for the first time in 2017 as The procurementseminars.co.uk Novice Auction.

The EBF Frier Wood Maiden is often a decent pointer to a stamina laden 2yo. Henry Candy’s Cirencester took the honours last year while Percy Street took the same event a couple of years ago. He’s now a highly promising hurdler for the brilliant Nicky Henderson yard.

The EBF Fillies Nursery generally throws a few future winners up through the course of the season – Tomorrowcomes and Soldier’s Girl fought out the finish last year while Rioca, Peru and Mise En Rose were separated by just a neck in the 2015 renewal! If there’s a finish like that again then punters will be in for a treat!

The Racecourse has been running the Yorkshire Postcode Lottery throughout the season once again. The scheme gives racegoers from Yorkshire the chance to come racing in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure for free. The remaining 3 meetings of the season are all part of the promotion, and punters with postcodes from Halifax, Huddersfield and Bradford will all be eligible for cheap entry at forthcoming meetings with Halifax postcodes the lucky ones on the 28th September. The action gets underway at 2.20pm with gates opening at midday.