Inaugural ‘Art of Racing’ meeting at Pontefract

Oriental Splendour (left), ridden by James Sullivan,  led home a trio of runners drawn high to win the third race on the card at last Monday's meeting at Pontefract. Pictures: Alan Wright.
Oriental Splendour (left), ridden by James Sullivan, led home a trio of runners drawn high to win the third race on the card at last Monday's meeting at Pontefract. Pictures: Alan Wright.

The inaugural ‘Art of Racing’ race day takes place at Pontefract next Tuesday, July 5.

It promises to be a brilliant day for both racing fanatics and those going racing for the first time.

For those who think they know a bit about racing, the racecourse are looking for seven guest tipsters to preview one race each on the day.

These form experts will then visit the course on the day to share their knowledge to other racegoers before their race runs.

Pontefract are also looking for those with a keen eye for the horses to join them to pick out the best turned out horse in each race as well

Anyone who would like to be considered should telephone the racecourse on 01977 781307 or send an email to info@pontefract-races.co.uk.

There will also be a beginners commentary booth for people to have a go at commentating on a race ‘behind the scenes.’ Everyone taking part will be able to take home a recording of their commentary.

With bus trips to see the equine stars down at the start, as well as a mechanical horse for budding jockeys to try out and some fantastic racing including a £40,000 listed race, it’s going to be a fun packed day with plenty going on.

The feature on the track is the Weatherbys GSB Pipalong Stakes - named after one of the best northern sprinting fillies in recent years.

The race always produces a decent filly or mare as it’s the last opportunity for the fairer sex to gain listed ‘black type’ over this trip.

Indeed, the role call of former winners includes the likes of Chorist, Red Bloom and Gifted Girl who all went on to compete at the highest level. Last year’s winner Nakuti went on to win a group three at Sandown and has since been sold to race in America.

The meeting kicks off with the Dianne Nursery handicap for two year olds.

It’s one of the first handicaps for two year olds to be run this season and it can often be won by a bigger price runner as the handicapper gets to grip with his ratings for the young horses.

Show Stealer lived up to her name when taking this race last season and is unbeaten so far this season.

The Pontefract Sports and Education Foundation hold a charity event throughout this day and three of the races on the card are sponsored by their supporters.

Hilco, Pontefract Squash and Leisure Club and CareHomeClaims are all fervent supporters of the foundation who aim to promote the advancement of education and sport amongst the underprivileged and disadvantaged in the Pontefract area.

There’s a varied supporting card including the 32nd running of the £15,000 King Richard III Stakes Handicap.

The race commemorates the granting of a Royal Charter to the Borough of Pontefract in 1484 and the successful owner will receive a perpetual challenge trophy provided by Pontefract Civic Society. Bryan Smart’s speedy Nameitwhatyoulike took the honours last year and will hopefully be back for a repeat bid.

The racecourse postcode lottery gives the opportunity for anyone based in the Leeds area to come racing for just £2.

By registering a utility bill with the racecourse, residents with an ‘LS’ postcode can get a ticket to the grandstand and paddock enclosure at a heavily discounted rate.