The ninth running of the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes - a listed race - and the totepool Mobile Pontefract Cup are the twin highlights of Pontefract’s seven-race programme this Sunday - the first of the course’s trio of Sunday meetings this summer.
There’s a host of attractions for young racegoers, with the emphasis on producing exciting, competitive racing on the track, along with an entertaining and informative day out for the family.
Contested over one mile and a half, the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes now offers record prize money of £40,000 - making it one of the most valuable races of the season at Pontefract. The eight previous winners - Songlark, Alfie Flits, Ivy Creek, Tranquil Tiger, Furmigadelagiusta, Prospect Wells, Distant Memories and Brown Panther - are testament to the quality of the race.
Stayers take part in the totepool Mobile Pontefract Cup, a handicap race over two and a quarter miles. This race is the fourth of eight in this season’s Pontefract Stayers’ Championship, which is led by Riptide, after his victory in the Tony Bethell Memorial Handicap Stakes.
The Series incorporates all races over two miles or more at the course and is now in its tenth year.
There are bonuses of £3,000 and trophies to the connections of the horse which heads the table in October, based on a points system accrued according to wins and places obtained during the series.
Another feature race on Sunday is the totequadpot Four Places In Four Races Handicap Stakes, a £20,000 contest over one mile and a quarter, as the whole of Sunday’s card is supported by totepool, which along with parent company Betfred, comprise one of the biggest sponsors of racing in the UK.
The gates open at 11.30am, with the first race at 2.10pm. The giant screen situated opposite the main stands will assist racegoers to follow all of the action during the afternoon, while musical entertainment is provided by the Yorkshire Volunteers Marching Band.
During the afternoon, there are performances by the National Festival Circus in the Picnic Enclosure, which is also the venue for children’s rides and bouncy castle.
Yorkshire-based ‘New Beginnings’ will bring along a former racehorse for children to meet. There are also retired greyhounds to see, along with face painting and free sweets for children while stocks last.
As usual, accompanied children under 18 years of age will be admitted free of charge into all enclosures. A special Family Ticket can be purchased in advance for £20 into the grandstand and paddock enclosure, while a barbecue package can also be pre-booked.