Second Sunday meeting features £45,000 race

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last meeting. Picture: Alan Wright.
A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last meeting. Picture: Alan Wright.

The second of Pontefract’s three Sunday meetings this summer takes place this weekend when the seven race programme starts at 2.20pm.

It’s the final day of the 2014 ‘Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival’ which showcases all that is best regarding racing in the county.

As usual at Pontefract’s Sunday fixtures, there’s a wide range of attractions available for young racegoers to enjoy and the fun begins from when the gates open at 11.30 am.

Marching band ‘The Derby Midshipmen’ provide the musical entertainment, while there’s a funfair, face painting and a crèche.

The Sky Bet Supporting The Yorkshire Racing Festival Pomfret Stakes is the principal race of the afternoon.

It’s the eighth running of this listed race over one mile, which offers prize money of £45,000.

This race in 2010 produced a dead-heat.

The thirteenth running of the Graham Rock Memorial Handicap Stakes is contested over one mile and a quarter.

The late Graham Rock was a much-respected racing journalist, who was the first editor of the Racing Post.

He was latterly the racing correspondent for the Observer and a member of BBC Television’s racing team.

He was also a successful racehorse owner.

His colours were carried to memorable victories by Pasternak in both the John Smith’s Cup at York and the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in 1997 - trained and ridden respectively by Sir Mark Prescott and George Duffield.

Graham Rock’s roots were always in Yorkshire and he visited Pontefract many times as a youngster and later in life when working for Timeform and the now-defunct Sporting Chronicle.

The opening race is a contest for maiden two-year-olds supported by Racing Profits Guides Ltd.

Other races featured are the Infinity Tyres Handicap Stakes (a race for sprinters over five furlongs), the Moor Top Farm Shop Hemsworth Handicap Stakes over one mile and a half, while support racing for the first time at Pontefract by putting their name to a handicap contest for sprinters over six furlongs.

One mile is the distance in the Fly High Faye Nickels Maiden Stakes.

Former racehorses under the care of ‘New Beginnings’, a Yorkshire-based community interest company, are in attendance as part of the festival, enabling racegoers to see them at close hand, while ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ will be hosting a new interactive ‘Racing Roadshow’ designed to entertain and engage racegoers in finding out about the equine and human stars of the sport.

There’s also the chance to win a VIP day out at the final day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York next month - including a £200 bet with Sky Bet - in a special racecard competition running throughout the Festival.

The draw for the winner will be made during Sunday’s meeting.

The leading trainer and jockey of the ‘Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival’ will be presented with their respective trophies.

The Byerley Turk Trophy - donated by Goldsborough Hall - is given to the top trainer of the Festival, while the JCT600 Trophy awaits the leading rider.

A couple of large screens will assist racegoers in following all of the action.

There’s also a special, preview of racing in the winners’ enclosure some 45 minutes before the action begins on the track along with paddock commentaries prior to each race.