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Earlier in the year, the British Horseracing Authority announced measures designed to increase the competitiveness of the racing programme and offset changes in the horse population. With an ‘across the board’ reduction in Class 1 and 2 races, and all 7 race programmes in July and August being reduced to 6 races, Racecourses have been primed for a fall in revenue streams.

Despite the cuts, Pontefract Racecourse are delighted to announce prize money in 2023 in excess of £1.45 million – making it the richest programme of racing to ever be run at the track.

Managing Director, Norman Gundill MBE said:

‘We are thrilled to announce our record prize money for 2023. We are acutely aware of the huge part that Owners play in racing and that they, like every part of the industry, have had their own severe financial difficulties. We have a large and varied list of valued sponsors and we would not be able to offer this prize money without their incredible support. We’d like to thank all of them very much for their continued sponsorship.’

The course will continue to run all 5 of its Class 1 Listed races during the year with the richest race of the year, The Sky Bet Pontefract Castle Stakes, run as part of the Sky Bet Sunday Series on the course on the 25th June. It’s the second successive year that the course will be part of the Sunday Series, with the corresponding 2022 date welcoming almost 10,000 racegoers and heralded as one of the most successful days of the entire series.

Chief Operating Officer, Richard Hammill said:

‘We are very excited to be part of the Sky Bet Sunday Series once again. We do not race on a Saturday, but our family Sundays are at the heart of our racing programme as they feature the best races with large family crowds, including those who we hope will be the racegoers of the future. We had a fantastic Yorkshire Day in 2022 and we’re looking forward to welcoming the ITV cameras back to Pontefract and giving them another Yorkshire show to remember!’

For more information please view the course’s website at or call The Administration Offices on 01977 781307.