There’s a quick turnaround in the race meetings at Pontefract with the second meeting of the season taking place on Monday 15th April when the equine equivalent of the London Marathon, the Pontefract Marathon, is one of the highlights on a 7 race card.
The first two year race of the season at Pontefract is The Farmer Copleys GFF Farm Shop of the Year 2019 EBF Novice Stakes. The race title celebrates the new partnership between the Racecourse and award winning local Farm Shop Farmer Copleys, who will be supplying a luxury Yorkshire hamper to the winning connections in every race at Pontefract in 2019. The race went the way of John Quinn’s ‘Carey Street’ in 2018. Trainer John Quinn will be hosting Pontefract Annual Badge Holders on the yearly stable visit later in the season.
There’s £25k up for grabs in the RIU Hotels and Resorts Handicap. The race was fought out by Foolaad and El Astronaute last year with the former just getting the better of the argument. It’s a race that always throws up future winners and is one to keep an eye on. 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 Jamaica!
The ‘Into The Sky’ Pontefract Marathon Handicap – run over 2m5½ furlongs – is the longest flat race handicap run in the country and forms the second leg of the Stayers Championship. Micky Hammond has been farming the series in recent years and he has several horses in mind for the 2019 Championship. The ‘Into The Sky’ Company are a group of young adults with learning difficulties who currently use the Racecourse every Friday for their music and drama rehearsals.
The 6f Maiden has thrown up some decent winners in the past and David O’Meara has won divisions of the race in the last two years with Black Isle Boy in 2017 and Three Saints Bay in 2018. Trainers love to target races that they’ve been successful in in the past and any representative from the O’Meara yard should be noted. This race is run in honour of long standing member of staff, Richard Pemberton, who has worked at the track for 30 years, including a spell as Head Groundsman. We hope that he has a very long and happy retirement.
Napoleons Casino Bradford return to Pontefract for the third year with a programme of another 5 sponsored races at the track in 2019. While the Golden Horseracing Club sponsor two races on the card promoting racehorse ownership with their fantastic club.
The Racecourse are continuing their Postcode Lottery promotion in 2019 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.
There’s never been a better reason to go racing more often!