THE bar was raised for the annual Ladies Day meeting at Pontefract this year.
With the prize of an all-inclusive week for two in the RIU Resort in Sri Lanka up for grabs, the competition for the best dressed lady was fierce as the Pontefract ladies turned out in force.
Faced with some stunning outfits, the judges, Dixie and Emma from the Heart breakfast show and Maria from RIU Resorts, settled on Katy Newsam as the lucky winner.
Following torrential rain earlier in the week, the race meeting survived an inspection early on Wednesday morning and went ahead with glorious sunshine by the end of the afternoon.
The Chaplins Club Handicap remembered David Chapman’s multiple race winner of the 80s.
Fittingly, the winner of the 2017 renewal was Lexington Place, owned by David Chapman’s wife, Marion, and trained by his granddaughter Ruth Carr.
The seven year old has been remarkably consistent this season but it was the first time he’s had his head in front where it counts.
The winner was one of four to flash past the post in a line but got the verdict under a great ride from Jack Garrity.
Ruth Carr doubled up when Cosmic Chatter took the penultimate race under James Sullivan. The winner stayed on strongly to win by an easy four and half lengths and has now registered two wins and a second from his last three visits to Pontefract and clearly enjoys the demands of the track.
The feature race on the card was the tiesplanet.com – Ladies Love Guys In Ties Handicap over one and a half miles.
With just five runners going to post for the £15,000 prize, jockey Danny Tudhope made his intentions clear from the outset on Mutadaffeq and was soon in a clear lead.
Despite a rapidly dwindling advantage near the line, David O’Meara’s four year old claimed his second victory of the season at Pontefract by a head from Mark Johnston’s Sennockian Star.
RIU Hotels and Resorts had kindly sponsored the best dressed lady competition and they also put their name to the Veterans Handicap on the card.
Echo of Lightning relished the testing conditions and, under his 5lb claimer Ben Robinson, he scooted clear to win by five lengths.
Steve and Jayne Robinson have been bookmakers at Pontefract for many years and sponsored three races on the Ladies Day card. They’ll have been hoping for some big price winners but each of their sponsored races went the way of the favourite.
The two year old novice race was won by Karl Burke’s promising Beatbox Rhythm who simply destroyed his rivals and stretched clear of a decent looking field to win by four lengths.
I’m Dapper Too has been in sparkling form recently and won his third race in a row in the first division of the Bet With Jayne - Your Local Bookmaker Handicap. He knuckled down well in the closing stages to put his head in front 100 yards from the line. The second division went the way of Ventura Secret for the Middleham Park Racing Syndicate. He bravely fought off all challengers to win for the second time in his last three starts.
It was a double on the day for owners Middleham Park Racing as See The Sea took the opening handicap for amateur riders. A rare runner at the track for Richard Hannon, the filly has made great strides since front running tactics have been deployed and victory never really looked in doubt as Ben James dictated the pace and saw off all rivals with ease.