It’s been a wet winter at Pontefract and unfortunately the Racecourse had to abandon their first race meeting scheduled for the beginning of April due to standing water on the track. However, hopefully the sun will stay out now and the Racecourse are looking forward to welcoming racegoers to the delayed start of their new season on Monday 23rd April.
This race meeting is the new Racing Buddies Raceday and if racegoers tag their racing buddy on the Racecourse Facebook Events page they can qualify for Buy One Get One Free tickets for them and their friend. See website for full details.
The two-year olds start the season off in style in The Belinda Carlisle at 80s Night on 25th May EBF Novice. The race title promotes the course’s 80s Night later in the year when 80s superstar Belinda Carlisle will perform after racing. The Richard Guest trained Gisele’s Angel took the race last year, in doing so stopping Pontefract’s Champion Trainer Richard Fahey from winning this race for the 3rd year in a row. If Richard Fahey can get back on the winning trail he’ll unlock the Racecourse’s new ‘It’s Champion’ promotion where if Fahey or Danny Tudhope (Pontefract’s champion jockey) ride a winner at any Pontefract meeting this season, racegoers will be able to access a special offer lasting for 30 minutes after the winning race.
There’s £25k up for grabs in the RIU Hotels and Resorts Handicap. The course record was smashed in the race last year when Judicial flew over the 5 furlong trip in a time of 1min 0.49secs despite his jockey dropping his whip. Will we see another track record fall in 2018? RIU Hotels and Resorts will be back at Pontefract later in the year when they sponsor the Best Dressed Lady competition in August. This year, the winning lady will win an all inclusive holiday to the Dominican Republic!
The Pontefract Marathon Handicap – run over 2m5½ furlongs – is the longest flat race run in the country and forms the first leg of our Stayers Championship. The Ponte specialist Tuscan Gold took the prize in 2017 and also won the Stayers Championship after a lengthy battle with La Fritillaire! With these two horses now enjoying their retirement, there’ll be a new name to add to the championship role of honour in 2018!
The 6f Maiden has thrown up some decent winners in the past and Kevin Ryan and Brian Ellison shared the spoils with a dead heat back in 2016! David O’Meara’s Black Isle Boy took the contest last year and won his next two starts in Scotland at Hamilton and Ayr. The race will hopefully reveal some more promising horses to follow for the rest of the season.
The Racecourse are continuing their Postcode Lottery promotion in 2018 and those living in York can pick up a free ticket for this meeting if they register before the day. All postcodes throughout Yorkshire will be able to get tickets to specific meetings throughout the year.
Another new promotion will be launched this season when The Ponte Faithful makes its debut. People who booked tickets for a Ponte raceday in 2017 and again in 2018 will automatically qualify and they’ll receive a Free Bet, Free Drink and a ‘£5 off’ voucher that they can use at the turnstiles for any other fixture in 2018. They’ll also get a free entry in to a prize draw to win a table for 4 in the Park Suite on 8th October.
There’s never been a better reason to go racing more often!