Pontefract’s new season gets underway

AN exciting finish at one of last season's race meetings at Pontefract. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.
AN exciting finish at one of last season's race meetings at Pontefract. PICTURE: BRIAN LUNN.

PONTEFRACT’S new flat racing season begins on Tuesday with a seven-race programme starting at 2.10pm. It is the first of 16 meetings at the course this year.

The afternoon’s most valuable race is the Paddock Package Handicap Stakes over one mile and a quarter, which should attract several quality middle-distance horses. Last year’s winner Albaqaa was ridden by Paul Hanagan, who went on to be the champion jockey of 2010.

The High-Rise Median Auction Maiden Stakes (three-year-olds, one mile and a quarter) is named after the 1998 Derby winner High-Rise who was successful at this equivalent Pontefract meeting that year prior to winning at Epsom, while the Dalby Stand Handicap Stakes is contested over one mile.

The eighth Pontefract Stayers’ Championship is launched with the Jamaican Flight Handicap Stakes, a contest over two and a quarter miles.

Named after Jamaican Flight, one of the most consistent stayers seen at Pontefract in recent years, this race is the start of a competition which incorporates all eight races for stayers during Pontefract’s season.

Dan Buoy, trained in South Yorkshire by Richard Guest was last year’s winner.

There are bonuses totaling £3,000 on offer throughout the series for the connections of the horse accumulating the most number of points when the championship concludes in October,

Tuesday’s card begins with the Pontefract Loyalty Card Handicap Stakes over one mile. The race title draws attention to the new ‘Loyalty Card’, which will be in the racecard for the first four meetings of the season. This scheme enables racecgoers who pay to enter the grandstand and paddock enclosure for six meetings and get the card stamped each time, free entry to another meeting of their choice this year.

The giant screen, situated opposite the main stands, will assist racegoers in following all of the action.