Category Archives: Pontefract


Our final evening meeting of the season takes place at Pontefract on Friday 19th July and is the second night of our Music Night Series, accompanied by our Red Shirt Night and Beer Festival. It promises to be a fantastic evening with six great races followed by the UK’s best Abba tribute band, Fabba Girls, performing after the conclusion of the last race.

We will be raising money for the incredible Injured Jockeys Fund through Jack Berry’s historic ‘Red Shirt Night’. The Red Shirt is purely optional – just bring yourself, your friends and your party spirit. This amazing charity has helped injured jockeys get back to race riding fitter and quicker than imagined.

We welcome back a whole host of old friends for our Beer Festival. Pennie Brewery, Revolutions Brewing Co, Ossett Brewery and Bier Huis will all be joining us, where they will be offering some of the best beers, lagers and ales that Yorkshire has to offer.

The feature on track is the VW Volkswagen Van Centre (Leeds) Ltd Optional Handicap Stakes run over a mile, and was won last year by Waarif in a competitive race. Waarif has gone on to register four wins over the same distance, the most recent at Windsor at the end of June.

Our third race on the card, the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes, will catch the eye of racing fans, having produced horses that have gone on to perform at the highest level. The race is run over 5f and last year was won by Watchable, who cruised home to win by a 1½ lengths for David O’Meara. Final Venture won this race in 2016 and just five months later headed to Meydan (Dubai), and won twice there for his current trainer Paul Midgley, who boasts an impressive four wins in this race.

The meeting kicks off with the Lucy Steven’s 30th Birthday Celebrations EBF Novice Auction Stakes for 2-year olds. This will be third running of the race and Richard Fahey’s Metallic Black won this convincingly by 4 lengths last year to Forcetoreckon.

The final race on the card is the John Nixon Supports Jack Berry House Handicap Stakes, run over 6 furlongs, which was won by Etikaal last year, steered home by the season’s leading jockey at Pontefract Ben Curtis. After the conclusion of this race, the critically acclaimed Fabba Girls will be performing on the raised grass area next to the Parade Ring. If you want a night out with racing, music and a beer festival, this is the place for you. Head to to secure your tickets now!


The inaugural ‘Art of Racing’ Raceday won an award at the prestigious Showcase Awards in 2016 for it’s unique innovation and the second of our Art of Racing Racedays in 2019 takes place at Pontefract on Tuesday 9th July. It once again promises to be a brilliant day for both racing fanatics and those going racing for the first time as the race meeting celebrates everything we know and love about The Sport of Kings!

For those who think they know a bit about racing, the Racecourse are looking for 7 guest tipsters to preview one race each on the day. These form experts will then visit the course on the day to share their knowledge to other racegoers before their race takes place! Pontefract are also looking for those with a keen eye for the horse to join them to pick out the Best Turned Out Horse in each race as well. If you’d like to be considered for either of these roles, please contact the Racecourse on 01977 781307 or email Spaces are limited.

There will also be a beginner’s commentary booth for people to have a go at commentating on a race ‘behind the scenes’ – everyone taking part will be able to take home a recording of their commentary! With bus trips to see the starts down at the start as well, it’s going to be a fun packed day with plenty going on!

The feature on the track is the Weatherbys General Stud Book Pipalong Stakes – named after one of the best northern sprinting fillies in recent years. The race always produces a decent filly or mare as it’s the last opportunity for the fairer sex to gain Listed ‘black type’ over this trip. Indeed, the role call of former winners includes the likes of Chorist, Red Bloom and Gifted Girl who all went on to compete at the highest level. The 2018 winner was Clon Coulis for the David Barron team who went on to win another Listed race at Ascot last year before being agonisingly beaten a nose in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

The meeting kicks off with The Dianne Nursery handicap for 2-year olds. It’s one of the first handicaps for 2 year olds to be run in the country in 2019. The 2018 winner Octave took the contest last year ½ length from William Haggas’ Red Hut Red.

The Pontefract Sports and Education Foundation hold a charity event throughout this day and three of the races on the card are sponsored by their supporters. Sochall Smith Chartered Accounts, Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club and Atlas Leisure Homes Ltd are all fervent supporters of the foundation who aim to promote the advancement of education and sport amongst the underprivileged and disadvantaged in the Pontefract and District area.

There’s a varied supporting card including the 35th running of the £15,000 King Richard lll Stakes Handicap. The race commemorates the granting of a Royal Charter to the Borough of Pontefract in 1484 and the successful owner will receive a perpetual challenge trophy provided by Pontefract Civic Society. Ower Fly and Watchable fought out the finish in 2017 with Ruth Carr’s inmate getting the verdict.

The Racecourse Postcode Lottery gives the opportunity for anyone based in the Leeds area to come racing for free. By sending a stamped addressed envelope to the Racecourse, residents with an ‘LS’ postcode can get a ticket to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure free of charge


With Royal Ascot grabbing many of the sporting headlines this week, Pontefract Racecourse is keeping its feet firmly on the ground with a proper Yorkshire Family Day out with a twist. While there’s high fashion, top hats and morning suits for racing at Royal Ascot, Pontefract host a very Yorkshire ‘Flat Cap and Whippet’ Family Day on Sunday 23rd June.

Aside from some fantastic horse racing action on the track, Pontefract will be involved in a new Guinness World Records ™ attempt to create the largest human image of a dog!

With family days a firm fixture in the Pontefract racing calendar, the Racecourse is embracing it’s Yorkshire heritage and will stage whippet racing before the first race and ferret racing through the afternoon as well as encouraging racegoers of all ages to come racing and bring along their flat cap.

The exciting Guinness World Records ™ attempt will take place at 1.15pm on Sunday 23rd June and racegoers are encouraged to take part in creating the shape of a huge ‘whippet’ which will be laid out on the lawns in front of the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. To set the record, the Racecourse will be looking for between 500 and 750 people to get involved. Racegoers will need to make sure that they have a flat cap and will be presented with a commemorative t-shirt to wear for the attempt which they will be able to keep and cherish to remember the day!

It’s a brilliant opportunity for Yorkshire racegoers to claim their spot in history and be a part of the attempt to set an incredible record with Guinness World Records ™ as well as have a fantastic day out.