Final evening meeting of season at Pontefract tomorrow

Another bumper crowd is expected at Pontefract on Red Shirt Night. Picture:  Alan Wright.
Another bumper crowd is expected at Pontefract on Red Shirt Night. Picture: Alan Wright.

Jack Berry and Red Shirt Night have a place firmly in the history of Pontefract racecourse.

As a trainer, Jack Berry was renowned for wearing his red shirt as his lucky symbol.

He was easy to spot when cheering home the likes of Mind Games and Paris House, two of his very best horses.

Since retiring, he’s been the driving force behind Jack Berry House - a state of the art rehabilitation centre for injured and retired jockeys in Malton.

Now in its 24th year, Red Shirt Night is tomorrow Friday).

Some racegoers will also don a red shirt but it’s certainly not a requirement.

The charity race night is one of Pontefract’s most popular fixtures and is the last of the three evening fixtures during the 2016 season.

The race meeting also incorporates a beer festival, with local breweries Hamelsworde Brewery, Pennine Breweries, Ossett Brewery and the Bier Huis all showcasing their wares. The beer festival will be held throughout the evening in the grandstand and paddock enclosure and racegoers in both this area and the premier enclosure will be able to access the trademark best selling ales.

After racing, the beer festival will continue for around an hour as local 80s tribute band Alibi take to the stage to entertain racegoers who will hopefully be enjoying some summer sunshine.

If you’re not partaking in the beer festival and you’re bringing the car, then the racecourse’s designated driver promotion continues at this meeting.

Pick up a voucher when you park the car and you’ll be able to claim your two free soft drinks courtesy of Harrogate Spring Water.

Vouchers are redeemable from designated locations around the course.

There’s an exciting racing programme as well with six races kicking off at 6.30pm.

The feature race is the £15,000 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap - a five furlong sprint which will take around just a minute to win it.

Trainer Paul Midgley has won this race for the last four years.

There’s a varied supporting card with the Countrywide Freight Maiden Auction Stakes opening proceedings.

This is the race where you’re likely to spot the odd star of the future. Three years ago, Treaty of Paris won this before going on to beat The Grey Gatsby at York.

Last year, Bing Bang Bong was an eyecatching third before just getting touched off in the group three Acomb Stakes at York.

The phrase ‘horses for courses’ was never more true than at this meeting in 2015. A couple of course specialists stepped into the spotlight as both Be Lucky and Entity maintained their 100 per cent course records.