Pontefract Racecourse gearing up for first race meeting of 2018

Pontefract races
Pontefract races

With spring here and summer just around the corner, the flat season roars back in to action at Pontefract with a quality race meeting on Tuesday.

With £92,000 worth of prize money on offer, the card often throws up some impressive early season types.

The meeting falls in the Easter holidays so, in time honoured tradition, there will be plenty of free chocolate eggs and bunnies available for kids!

The racecourse has been working with the art and graphic design students at New College, who have designed the promotional material for this meeting as part of their A-Level coursework. Winning designer Ellie Tallant not only has all her designs in print on the day, she will also have a spell of work experience with Leeds-based Print and Design Company, Advertising Works.

Highlight of the racing programme is the £25,000 Visit The All New Racing UK Handicap over 1m 2f. A classy field assembled for the 2017 renewal with subsequent Royal Ascot victor Snoano taking the honours for trainer Tim Easterby.

The £15,000 1m 4f EBF Maiden on this day has a rich roll of honour. Luca Cumani’s ‘High–Rise’ won this race on his way to victory in the Epsom Derby and lends his name to this race. Above Normal won the 2017 contest for Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin. He’s been winning in Dubai over the Winter – will 2018 unleash a potential superstar?

Of all the races run over the years at Pontefract, the stayers races evoke the strongest memories among the race going public. With course favourites like Dan Buoy, Jamaican Flight and Bluff Cove all laden with stamina, the Stayers Championship has proved a popular addition to the racing programme in recent seasons.

With a new running order for the stayers races this season, Ponte hosts the Phil Bull Trophy Conditions Stakes next Tuesday. The 2017 renewal (in October last year) provided Mark Johnston with his 4,000th victory courtesy of Dominating.

It is hoped that the race will give the stayers an opportunity to get a prep run in ahead of some of the big Cup races during the season.

The award winning ‘Wall of Fame’ promotion is back at the course for 2018. Racegoers who visited in 2017 may already have spotted their face on the website dedicated to the promotion (www.pontefract-races.co.uk/walloffame ) but the life size artwork will be unveiled in the Paddock Bar at the opening race meeting of the year. Anyone spotting themselves will be able to claim a prize from the Office on any raceday during the season. With 462 faces on show, there are plenty of great prizes to be won!

Those with a Harrogate postcode can pick up a free ticket 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. Full details are available on the website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk .