Category Archives: Pontefract

In the Zone Family Day

Sunday 19th 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 In The Zone 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 2018, is the £60,000 EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies’ Stakes. The race has a rich history with some very classy fillies on the role of honour. The 2017 prize went the way of Richard Fahey’s Queen Kindly. The daughter of Frankel had won a Group 2 race as a two year old and proved a cut above her opposition. 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 and have an up and coming superstar, Mabs Cross, this year.

There is some high class supporting action on the track too. The £13,000 William Hill handicap over 1m was won by the highly talented Isabella. The Stayers are once again back in action for Round 5 of the Stayers Championship, in a race sponsored by Moor Top Farm Shop. The patrons of Moor Top Farm Shop actually had a winner on the card last year when their Sandra’s Secret took the Nova Display Handicap! New sponsors, Dickies Workwear, also sponsor the 1½ mile handicap on the day

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 £25. 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 2pm and the gates open at 11.30am!

LADIES DAY IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Racing and fashion combine in the annual Pontefract Ladies Day on Wednesday 8th 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 the Dominican Republic. 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 Gresham hotel in Dublin! With such fantastic prizes on offer, the competition is bound to be fiercely contested! And for the first time in 2018, the Racecourse will also have a Best Dressed Gentleman competition with a prize fund of £350 to the winner!

If you’d like to be considered for either competition, then the Heart Angels will be on the lookout for the Best Dressed Racegoers from the minute that the gates open at 12noon and they will allocate numbered cards to lucky finalists. The judging gets under way for the Best Dressed Gentleman in the Parade Ring at 1pm and then the prestigious Best Dressed Lady Competition starts at 1.15pm. 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 either of the Best Dressed Racegoer competitions to 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 as part of the track’s #Magic500 promotion.

There’s some fantastic action on the track too. The feature race is the £20,000 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 horses aged 3 year olds and older. There’s an impressive role of honour as this years’ Stayers Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival, Penhill, took part in this race in 2015!

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 £20,000!

Sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady competition, RIU hotels and resorts, also sponsor the veterans handicap on the day while the Racecourse contract cleaners, Solutions 4 Cleaning, sponsor the opening race on the card for amateur Gentleman Riders.

With the Park Suite Restaurant, Marquee and Hospitality Boxes already fully booked on Ladies Day, racegoers are encouraged to book their admission 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 2.20pm and the gates open at 12noon.

CONTACT – RICHARD HAMMILL 01977 781307

GO RACING IN YORKSHIRE SUMMER FESTIVAL FAMILY DAY

The second Family Day of the 2018 season at Pontefract on Sunday 29th July is the final day of the 11th Annual Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival. With racing taking place across the White Rose County throughout the preceding week, there’s going to be a real festival feel to the day’s proceedings. Trainers and jockeys will also be bidding to get that all important next win on the leader board as they aim to be the next top dog in their respective Championships sponsored by Goldsborough Hall and Sky Bet.
In keeping with the festival feel, the track has introduced a Fake Festival with performances from some of the best tribute acts on the UK circuit. With tributes to Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Tina Turner and cover band The Maxibrites performing before and after racing in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. It’s definitely an afternoon not to be missed!
As has become the custom on Sundays at Pontefract, there’s a lot going on for the kids as well. With kid’s rides, a circus, face painting, free sweets, activity books, 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!
New Beginnings, a rehoming centre for retired racehorses, will be on course with a selection of ex racers. The charity helps rehome and retrain racehorses who have ended their track careers by giving them a more laid back 2nd career.
On track, Sky Bet support the main race on the card – the £50,000 Listed Pomfret Stakes over 1 mile. David O’Meara has farmed the race in recent years. In 2017 his runner Custom Cut was bidding for his second win in the race but Richard Fahey, the courses Champion Trainer of 2017, had other ideas when his ‘Another Touch’ took the race.
The Festival’s leading trainer and jockey last year will be hoping to retain their titles. Tim Easterby had two winners at Ponte on the final day and David Allan sealed his victory with a brilliant treble. With the yard continuing in great form, they could well repeat the same feat! Perhaps the most interesting winner from last year was Kings Will Dream, who won the maiden race on the card for Micky Hammond. He was then sold to race in Australia where he is unbeaten and has the Melbourne Cup on his agenda!
There are some special Family Day Tickets available when booked in advance. Admitting two adults and their children these special tickets can be purchased before the day for just £25. The Sunday Special packages are also selling fast – if you’d like to take advantage of any special advance packages, please view the course website (www.pontefract-races.co.uk) or give them a call of 01977 781307. Racing gets underway at 2pm and the gates open at 11.30am! Come Racing!