Numerous attractions at Pontefract’s first Sunday race meeting

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last race meeting. Picture: Steve Davies.
A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last race meeting. Picture: Steve Davies.

Pontefract hosts its first Sunday race meeting of the season this weekend with the totepool Flat Cap and Whippet Family Day.

There’s an action packed day ahead with the Yorkshire Pedigree Whippet Racing Club providing whippet racing before the first race between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

With around 30 whippets competing in a series of eight races, it promises to be an exciting way to start the day.

Racegoers are advised to dust off the old flat cap from the back of the wardrobe. The first 500 people wearing a flat cap will win a spot prize of a tote voucher, a drinks voucher or a bag of Pontefract cakes.

As has become the custom on Sundays at Pontefract, there’s lots going on for the kids in the picnic enclosure.

With kids rides, a circus, face painting and free activity books and racecards, there’s plenty to keep the little ones occupied while mums and dads enjoy some top class racing.

Eagle eyed kids need to look out for the lucky golden horseshoe - there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it.

There’s free pony rides, as well as flat cap and ferret events throughout the afternoon.

Racegoers can take a look behind the scenes. A minibus will take them down to the start of one of the races where they can watch the calm before the equine superstars explode into action.

On the track, totepool sponsor all seven races with the highlight being the £40,000 listed totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes.

Farmed in recent years by Tom Dascombe’s high class Brown Panther, John Gosden broke the stranglehold when his Freedom’s Light took the honours in 2014.

There are always a number of top class horses aimed at this race and it’s a great opportunity to see some real top notchers up close.

The 2015 Pontefract Stayers Championship is shaping up to be a really competitive affair and round four is the toteexacta Pontefract Cup.

Useful dual purpose horse Teak took the honours in this race in 2014.

With Micky Hammond’s Tuscan Gold taking round three of the championship at the last meeting, he’s now in pole position and will be looking for further victories to cement his lead.

The £100,000 card opens with two maidens – one for speedy two year olds over six furlongs and one for the three year old stayers over one and a half miles.

Both races are liable to throw up useful horses for the season – the two-year-old contest was won by Bimbo in 2014 who went on to compete in some of the big fillies races later in the year.

Being Father’s Day, Pontefract are also offering a number of special packages to make dad’s day extra special.

The Father’s Day paddock package (£40) and the VIP premier Father’s Day package (£100) both offer great value for families of two adults and two under 18s.

Family tickets (£22) are also available in advance for two adults and their children.

Anyone wishing to take advantage of any of these special advance packages, should visit the course website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk or ring them on 01977 781307.

Racing gets underway on Sunday at 2.10pm and the gates open at 11.30am.