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 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 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.


The coveted St Leger stakes trophy has had, as tradition dictates, its central element re-designed for this weeks 2017 William Hill St Leger Festival by Sheffield Silversmith Chris Knight.

Since 2007, when the new trophy was designed after the construction and redevelopment of Doncaster Racecoourse, a silversmith or sculptor receives the commission each year to create a new central element to the trophy – the part of the trophy which the lucky winner gets to keep – which, this year, renowned silversmith and original designer Chris Knight brings to life with his creative talent.

“Our Perpetual Trophy has over the years become something of a talking point and we are delighted with this year’s Yorkshire inspired element designed by Alison Counsell and manufactured by Chris Knight, both from Sheffield,” said Abby Chandler Head of Marketing at Doncaster Racecourse. “And, so that everyone involved in the 2017 William Hill St Leger Trophy win can have a small memento, a graphic image of the design has been engraved on the awards for the winning trainer, jockey and groom.”

Alison has taken inspiration from the original trophy in 2007 which encompassed elements of Yorkshire including the iconic Yorkshire rose. This has been represented for the 2017 trophy by the use of silver with the petals of the rose rippling around the dish like ribbons.

“Racegoers on the Saturday, William Hill St Leger Day, will be able to see this iconic trophy presented after the world’s oldest classic has been run,” said Abby. “It’s always a special moment in our racing calendar at Doncaster and this fantastic trophy by Alison and Chris will only serve to reinforce its heritage and history in the horse racing industry.”

The William Hill St Leger Stakes, part of the British Champions Series, will take place at 3.35pm

Selected tickets are still available and can be obtained by visiting


It’s a well-known fact that Yorkshire’s well established for its wonderful produce along with being blessed with some of the country’s finest Horse Racing.
Ripon Races have taken the saying ‘Love thy neighbour’ to another level and have teamed for the second year with Masham based brewers Theakston’s and Bedale based Heck Food for a BBQ n Beer festival to end their 2017 season.

The meeting which takes place on Saturday 30th September is the fourth annual event put on by Theakstons at the Racecourse, the pop-up Beer Festival with a full range of seasonal and new ales from Theakstons is in addition to the permanent ‘Theakston Terrace Bar’ that was installed as part of the 2013 winter renovations.
Heck and Theakstons will both be on course as part of the BBQ n Beer festival, along with Leeds acoustic duo ‘Strobe’ who will be performing throughout the afternoon in the dedicated chill out area.

The trio have teamed up to offer racegoers the ultimate BBQ package with entry, a Heck BBQ meal and a pint of Yorkshire’s finest Theakston Ale and can be pre-booked on the Ripon Races website.

Victoria Bramley, Marketing Manager of Theakston Brewery said “We are greatly looking forward to the fourth Annual Theakston Pop-Up beer festival at Ripon Races and to what is fast becoming the must-go-to event in the Ripon social calendar. This year’s will be even bigger and better with a record number of nine of our famous Masham brewed ales on the bar and, in attendance with us for the second year running are the wonderful Heck whose sausages complements our beer perfectly!”

James Hutchinson, Managing Director of Ripon Races said “We are thrilled to continue our great working relationship with Theakston’s and showcase the best of Yorkshire BBQ with Heck joining the team. It’s amazing to think we have come to the end of what has been a fantastic season here at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’

Racing highlights of the day include the Class 2 ‘Ripon Cathedral City of The Dales Handicap Stakes’, a £25,000 contest for 3 year olds and upwards over six furlongs, ‘The Noel Hetherton Memorial Handicap Stakes’ a £10,000 five furlong sprint which remembers the former patron of the Racecourse who sadly passed away in 2015.

The raceday also marks a special end to the season as the Racecourse pays tribute to their Groundstaff team with an official thank you.

The final race of the season has been fittingly named ‘The Thank You To Our Groundstaff Maiden Stakes’ as a tribute to the team behind ‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’s award winning surroundings.

The team are celebrating the recent news of being named as one of three Racecourses in the final shortlist of the IOG John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year. Ripon will go up against teams from Sandown and Nottingham and will represent the Racecourse at the annual awards dinner where the winners will be announced.

Racing on Saturday 30th September starts at 2pm with gates open for entry at 11.30am before Ripon close their gates until April 2018.