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.