Numerous attractions at first Sunday meeting

ACTION from a recent meeting at Pontefract. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.
ACTION from a recent meeting at Pontefract. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.

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

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

There’s 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 to celebrate ‘Father’s Day’

Contested over one mile and a half, the totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes offers prize money of £30,000, making it one of the most valuable races of the season at Pontefract.

The six previous winners - Songlark, Alfie Flits, Ivy Creek, Tranquil Tiger, Furmigadelagiusta and Prospect Wells (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 Descaro, trained in North Yorkshire by Richard Guest. The series incorporates all races over two miles or more at the course and is now in its eighth 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 totesport Handicap Stakes, an £11,500 contest over one mile and a quarter, as the whole of Sunday’s card is supported by totepool, which along with totesport comprise the biggest commercial sponsor of racing in the UK.

The gates open at 11.30 am and the first race is at 2.10pm.

The giant screen situated opposite the main stands will assist racegoers to follow all of the action during the afternoon, while 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 a supervised crèche facility, face painting and free sweets for children while stocks last.

A usual, accompanied children under 16 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 ‘Father’s Day’ packages and a BBQ package can also be purchased in advance.