Pontefract prepares for penultimate meeting of 2016

Van Gerwen wins the five furlong sprint at Pontefract at the last meeting at the course. Picture: Alan Wright
Van Gerwen wins the five furlong sprint at Pontefract at the last meeting at the course. Picture: Alan Wright

As the flat season continues to wind down, Pontefract stage their penultimate meeting of the season tomorrow (Monday).

The 15th race meeting of the year at the West Yorkshire venue is bound to be well supported as trainers get one last run in to their charges before the National Hunt season takes over.

It is a fascinating card with the feature being The Tradeway Shipping Peter Kirkham Retiring Handicap over one mile. The £15,000 prize money is bound to attract some interesting types. The 2015 race saw Godolphin’s Pallister take the prize.

Godolphin sent a strong team for the meeting last year with five of their charges being sent off favourite. However, Pallister was the only winner for the ‘boys in blue’ with some noticeable fancied runners turned over – in the opening Racing UK Maiden, their 2-9 favourite Change The Game was trying to win the race for the owner for the fourth year in a row but could not hold off Ann Duffield’s 50-1 winner Heaven Scent!

While it is not one of the more valuable races on the card, The Bluff Cove Handicap will certainly be one of the most fiercely contested as it makes up the penultimate leg of the Stayers Championship at the course in 2016.

The championship looks like going to the wire with former winner Riptide holding the lead. With recent course winner Medina Sidonia also reportedly aiming for the race, it looks like being an exciting climax to the series.

The Racing UK Nursery was a fiercely competitive race last year. Mick Channon’s Kassia took the prize in 2015 – she has won three times already this season, including the inaugural running of the richest ever handicap staged at Pontefract earlier this season.

In conjunction with Racing UK, Pontefract are offering all subscribers to the channel discounted entry to the Park Suite Restaurant (subject to availability). Anyone wishing to take advantage of this offer should call the Racecourse Office with their Racing UK membership details.

The racecourse continues to run the Yorkshire Postcode Lottery. The scheme gives racegoers from Yorkshire the chance to come racing in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure for just £2. The last two meetings of the season are both part of the promotion, and punters with postcodes from Huddersfield and Bradford will be eligible for cheap entry with Huddersfield postcodes the lucky ones on October 3. The action gets under way at 2pm with gates opening at midday.

It promises to be another memorable day and tickets are still available from www.pontefractraces.co.uk