Country’s longest flat handicap race at Pontefract

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's first meeting of the season on Easter Tuesday. Picture: Alan Wright.

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's first meeting of the season on Easter Tuesday. Picture: Alan Wright.

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Horses laden with stamina are no bad thing at the best of times at Pontefract but never more so than at the course’s second meeting of the season tomorrow (Monday).

The Pontefract Marathon Handicap over a gruelling two miles and five and half furlongs is the longest flat handicap race run in the country and forms the second leg of the 2015 Stayers Championship in which Suprise Vendor has an early lead following his runaway success at the course on Easter Tuesday.

At the other end of the spectrum, the sprinters compete for the richest race on the card, the £20,000 Riu Palace Meloneras Handicap.

Later in the season, the sponsors of this race, RIU Hotels and Resorts, are generously donating an all inclusive weeks holiday for two people to Mexico to the winner of the Best Dressed Lady Competition at the Pontefract Ladies Day on Wednesday, August 5.

The race itself has a rich recent history. The 2014 Ayr Gold Cup winner Louis The Pious made his reappearance in this race last year, while 2013 Wokingham winner York Glory won the race two seasons ago.

Two year olds step forward for the first time this season in the Racing Uk Profits Returned to Racing Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

DEM Window Solutions of Barnsley return to Pontefract to sponsor the £10,000 handicap over a mile while the last race highlights the first evening meeting of the season at Pontefract – 80s Night on May 22 where tickets can be bought at 80s prices if people are quick.

Those living in York can pick up a ticket for £2 for this meeting if they register for the Racecourse Postcode Lottery scheme before the day. All postcodes throughout Yorkshire will be able to get tickets to specific meetings throughout the year.

Racegoers will be able to sip their champagne in the newly refurbished Champagne Bar which has opened at the course for the 2015 season.