The rain did its best to spoil Pontefract’s ‘80’s Night’ meeting last Friday evening, but a big crowd enjoyed the action on the track (writes Graham Orange).
The main race, the Youngsters Conditions Stakes - supported by The European Breeders’ Fund - saw the 4-9 favourite Kasb defeated by Bond’s Girl, who was returned at 10-1.
This contest for precocious two-year-olds over six furlongs has produced some notable winners over the years, and Kasb - successful on his debut at Newbury - had to settle for second place as Bond’s Girl, trained at Malton by Richard Fahey and ridden by Paddy Mathers, took up the lead a furlong out to win by a length and a half.
A winner on her debut last month at Beverley, Bond’s Girl may make an appearance at Royal Ascot next month, possibly in the Albany Stakes.
The Dubai World Cup-winning rider Silvestre de Sousa was seen to good effect on course specialist Teetotal (3-1 favourite) in the Constant Security Services Handicap Stakes for sprinters over six furlongs.
Trained at Malton by Nigel Tinkler, Teetotal won twice last year at Pontefract, and the four-year-old had two and a quarter lengths to spare over Line Of Reason.
Lunar Spirit had finished runner-up on her seasonal debut at Beverley, and she went one better in the Alamo Business Systems Fillies’ Handicap Stakes over one mile and a quarter.
Owned and bred by David and Vimy Aykroyd (Mrs Aykroyd is a member of the stewards’ panel at Pontefract) and trained in Hampshire by Ralph Beckett, Lunar Spirit took up the lead inside the final furlong to win by two and a half lengths.
Arizona John almost made it back-to-back wins in the longest race of the evening, a handicap contest over one mile and a half, but was denied by a nose in a very close finish by Aramist (5-2 favourite).
Ridden by Ben Curtis, Aramist represents trainer Alan Swinbank, who is based at Melsonby in North Yorkshire.
The opening race of the evening, the Heart Breakfast Handicap Stakes over one mile, went to Border Bandit (12-1), given an eye-catching ride by Ian Brennan.
Trained at Spennymoor in County Durham by Tracy Waggott, Border Bandit was making his first appearance of the season and he made light of the testing conditions to win by three-quarters of a length.
Maiden three-year-old sprinters took part in the concluding race, which went the way of Boy In The Bar (11-4 favourite).
Trained at Maunby near Thirsk by David Barron and ridden by Robert Winston, Boy In The Bar had finished second on his seasonal debut at Nottingham, and he made no mistake in this race over six furlongs, prevailing by two and a half lengths.
Pontefract’s next meeting is the ‘West Yorkshire Festival Night’ evening fixture on Monday, June 9, with a first-race time of 6.40pm.