First of Pontefract’s three Sunday meetings

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THE eighth running of the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes - a listed Race - and the Pontefract Cup are the twin highlights of Pontefract’s seven-race programme this Sunday.

It is the first of the course’s trio of Sunday meetings this summer.

There is a host of attractions for young racegoers, with the emphasis on producing exciting, competitive racing on the track, along with an entertaining and informative day out for the family.

Contested over one mile and a half, the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes offers record prize money of £33,000, making it one of the most valuable races of the season at Pontefract.

The seven previous winners - Songlark, Alfie Flits, Ivy Creek, Tranquil Tiger, Furmigadelagiusta, Prospect Wells and Distant Memories (last year) - are testament to the quality of the race.

Stayers contest the Pontefract Cup, a handicap race over two and a quarter miles.

This race is the fourth of eight in this season’s Pontefract Stayers’ Championship, which is led by Blackstone Vegas, after his victory in last week’s Tony Bethell Memorial Handicap Stakes.

The series incorporates all races over two miles or more at the course and is now in its ninth year.

There are bonuses of £3,000 and trophies to the connections of the horse which heads the table in October, based on a points system accrued according to wins and places obtained during the series.

Another feature race on Sunday is the totequadpot Handicap Stakes, a £14,000 contest over one mile and a quarter, as the whole of Sunday’s card is supported by totepool, which along with parent company Betfred, comprise the biggest commercial sponsor of racing in the UK.

The gates open at 11.30 am.

The first race will take place at 2.10 pm.

The giant screen situated opposite the main stands will assist racegoers to follow all of the action during the afternoon.

Musical entertainment is provided by the Yorkshire Volunteers Marching Band.

During the afternoon, there are performances by the National Festival Circus in the Picnic Enclosure, which is also the venue for a funfair and bouncy castle.

There’s also activity packs for children, meet the racehorse sessions, face painting and free sweets for children.

Weather permitting, there’s a Real Radio family relay race.

As usual, accompanied children under 18 years of age will be admitted free of charge into all enclosures.

A special family ticket can be purchased in advance for £20 into the grandstand and paddock enclosure, while special ‘Picnic Packages’ and a BBQ package can also be purchased in advance.