Listed race featured at Pontefract’s Sunday meeting

Treaty of Paris wins the opening race at Pontefract's last meeting. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.
Treaty of Paris wins the opening race at Pontefract's last meeting. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.

The second of Pontefract’s three Sunday meetings this summer takes place tomorrow (July 28), when the seven race programme starts at 2.20pm.

It’s the final day of the 2013 ‘Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival’, which showcases all that is best regarding racing in the county.

As usual at Pontefract’s Sunday fixtures, there’s a wide range of attractions available for young racegoers to enjoy and the fun begins from when the gates open at 11.30am, including performances during the afternoon by the National Festival Circus.

The Coventry Corps of Drums provide the musical entertainment, while there’s a funfair, face painting and free sweets while stocks last.

The Sky Bet Supporting The Yorkshire Racing Festival Pomfret Stakes is the principal race of the afternoon.

It’s the seventh running of this listed race over one mile, which offers increased prize money of £45,000 and Newmarket trainer Saeed bin Suroor has a good record in this race, producing three winners in the well-known royal blue Godolphin colours.

The twelfth running of the Graham Rock Memorial Handicap Stakes is contested over one mile and a quarter.

The late Graham Rock was a much-respected racing journalist, who was the first editor of the Racing Post.

He was latterly the racing correspondent for the Observer and a member of BBC Television’s racing team.

He was also a successful racehorse owner. His colours were carried to memorable victories by Pasternak in both the John Smith’s Cup at York and the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in 1997 – trained and ridden respectively by Sir Mark Prescott and George Duffield.

Graham Rock’s roots were always in Yorkshire and he visited Pontefract many times as a youngster and later in life when working for Timeform and the now-defunct Sporting Chronicle.

The opening race is a contest for maiden two-year-olds supported by Racing Profits Guides Ltd and other races featured are the Infinity Ecomax Tyres Handicap Stakes (a race for sprinters over six furlongs) and the Moor Top Farm Shop Hemsworth Handicap Stakes over one mile and a half.

Former racehorses under the care of ‘New Beginnings’, a Yorkshire-based community interest company, are in attendance as part of the festival, enabling racegoers to see them at close hand.

Also, racegoers will be able to obtain information regarding some of the local racing syndicates and racehorse ownership from the ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ information unit.

There’s also the chance to win a VIP day out at the final day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York next month - including a £200 bet with Sky Bet and an overnight stay at Raithwaite Hall - in a special racecard competition running throughout the Festival. The draw for the winner will be made during Sunday’s meeting.

The leading trainer and jockey of the ‘Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival’ will be presented with their respective trophies.

The Byerley Turk Trophy – donated by Goldsborough Hall - is given to the top trainer of the festival, while the JCT600 Trophy awaits the leading rider.

A couple of large screens will assist racegoers in following all of the action.

Yorkshire Radio will be broadcasting from the course, as part of their commitment to the Yorkshire Racing Festival and there’s a preview of the afternoon’s racing in the winners’ enclosure.