Pontefract stages annual charity race meeting today

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last race meeting. Picture: Alan Wright.

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last race meeting. Picture: Alan Wright.

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There has been excellent weather at Pontefract’s first two race meetings of the season and the trend looks set to continue with a promising forecast ahead of today’s (Wednesday) seven-race programme.

Today is a day when Pontefract traditionally looks to the future stars of racing - it’s the 26th annual Northern Racing College Charity Day.

The Northern Racing College, based just outside Doncaster, was set up in 1984 and provides a range of courses at all levels for people who are looking at the horseracing industry as a future career.

It also offers those currently in the business the chance to develop their qualifications and skills.

The racing on the day also casts an eye to future stars. The opening two year old maiden, jointly sponsored by the EBF and William Hill, is a historically informative event.

It was won a couple of years ago by the subsequent successful globetrotter, Peniaphobia. The 2013 winner not only went on to win the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury but then became one of the top sprinters in Hong Kong and was just touched off in the group one sprint at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Night.

The card concludes with the third round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Handicap.

The race was won last year by Megan Carberry, who went on to win the whole series and is currently based with Brian Ellison’s yard in Malton.

The successful rider in the 2015 series will win a cash prize of £2,500 as well as equipment from White Rose Saddlery in Malton.

The entire race meeting is unique in the face that the body of the card sees races sponsored by William Hill, totepool, Betfred, Ladbrokes and Coral. All these bookmakers traditionally set aside their commercial rivalry on this day in order to encourage the grass roots and future of the sport.

On the track, the £15,000 Ladbrokes Fillies’ Handicap is the feature race but there’s a strong supporting card including the EBF Maiden won in 2014 by Luca Cumani’s useful Roseburg who went on to win three times during the season.

The course is again offering discounted tickets to those who book in advance – see www.pontefract-races.co.uk for more information.