Listed race highlight of Pontefract’s final race meeting

A thrilling finish at Pontefract. Picture: Alan Wright.
A thrilling finish at Pontefract. Picture: Alan Wright.

Pontefract’s final meeting of the season tomorrow (Monday) will round off an excellent year’s racing.

The highlight will be a top class listed two year old race.

The 23rd running of the listed totepool EBF Silver Tankard Stakes has a rich roll of honour with past winners including Comic Strip, who won the 2004 renewal for Sir Mark Prescott before being sold to race in Hong Kong and becoming one of the most successful horses in their history.

With £40,000 on offer in prizemoney, this year’s renewal will hopefully produce a really top class horse for the 2016 season.

The main supporting race is the Phil Bull Trophy Conditions Stakes. The race has been moved in the racing calendar this season but always attracts some high quality stayers.

The 2014 contest was taken by Godolphin’s Statutory who was following up his victory in the same race in 2013 when trained by Mark Johnston.

Not seen since running at Royal Ascot, the talented stayer will hopefully be back in action to bid for the hat-trick.

This race also marks the final leg of the 2015 Pontefract Stayers’ Championship. This year’s competition will go right to the wire as either Tuscan Gold (22 points) or former winner Riptide (20 points) could take the title.

Trainers of both horses are planning to bring their charges back for a final showdown which sees the head to head match score tied at 3-3.

The opening race on the card - a two year old nursery handicap - proved to be a very informative affair in 2014 with 14 subsequent winners coming out of the race including the first three home - Dark Wave, Cymro and Multellie.

There are still a few places available on the totepool punters package on Monday. For just £40, punters will be able to secure a place in the VIP totepool suite in the Dalby Stand boxes with hot buffet, guest speaker and use of the private viewing balconies. To book, visit www.pontefract-races.co.uk or ring 01977 781307.

The racecourse continues to run the Yorkshire Postcode Lottery. The scheme gives racegoers from Yorkshire the chance to come racing in the grandstand and paddock enclosure for just £2.

The last meeting of the season is again part of the promotion, and punters with postcodes from Bradford will be eligible for cheap entry on the last day.

There’ll be a chance to buy some early Christmas presents too as the Injured Jockeys Fund will have their stand on course. People can also purchase a 2016 annual badge at the 2015 price.

The action gets underway at 2.10pm with gates opening at midday.

Meanwhile, Pontefract racecourse is a finalist for a national award.

The course’s social media VIP campaign has been nominated in the digital and social media excellence category and the designated driver campaign has been nominated in the operational excellence category at the 2015 RCA showcase awards, celebrating excellence and innovation on Britain’s racecourses. which takes place at Ascot Racecourse on Thursday, November 12.

Richard Hammill, assistant manager at Pontefract racecourse said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted in these categories. It is an honour to be nominated alongside some of the biggest and best racecourses in the country. “