THE first “Pontefract’s Got Talent Night” meeting takes place tomorrow (Friday).
The first of Pontefract Racecourse’s three evening meetings this summer provides the perfect start to the Diamond Jubilee Holiday weekend with racing beginning at 6.30 pm. After the concluding race at 9.10pm, there will be more entertainment as the final of the talent competition will start at about 9.30pm.
The racecourse has received more than 50 entries over the past two months for the talent contest and 15 finalists have been selected to perform in front of a judging panel of Dixie, from the Real Radio Breakfast Show, local actress and singer Emma Hogg and a member of the Pontefract & Castleford Express team.
The competition takes place on the marquee site next to the Parade Ring and the winning act will receive a VIP day out at a future Pontefract meeting for them and their family, including a private hospitality box, food, champagne and £100 of totepool betting vouchers. They will also be entered for Britain’s Got Talent 2013.
The evening’s feature race is The Diamond Jubilee Youngsters Conditions Stakes, a £12,000 contest for two-year-olds over six furlongs. This race is sure to attract some precocious juveniles, exemplified by recent winners such as Sir Xaar and Hellvelyn.
Last year’s runner-up, Caspar Netscher ended the season as one of the UK’s top-rated two-year-olds, winning a couple of Group 2 races – The Gimcrack Stakes at York and The Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. This season, the colt – trained in Nottinghamshire by Alan McCabe – has won the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury and competed in the opening classic of the year, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Constant Security Services, who provide the security duties at Pontefract and several other racecourses, particularly in Yorkshire, once again sponsor a couple of handicap contests while new sponsors Logic Lettings, of Pontefract, support the evening’s handicap race for fillies and mares over one mile-and-a-quarter.
The opening race is The St John Ambulance Handicap Stakes, a contest over one mile, the title of which recognises the voluntary work carried out by the St John Ambulance Brigade on racedays at Pontefract.
The giant screen, situated opposite the main stands, will show all of the action on the track.