Pontefract set to stage final meeting of year

Horse racing action from this season at Pontefract. Picture: BRIAN LUNN
Horse racing action from this season at Pontefract. Picture: BRIAN LUNN
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Leading two-year-olds – possible stars of the future – are catered for in the principal race at Pontefract’s final meeting of 2013 today, the EBF Stallions/totepool Mobile Silver Tankard Stakes.

Racing is scheduled to begin at 2.10pm when the 21st running of the EBF Stallions/totepool Mobile Silver Tankard Stakes, a Listed race for juveniles over one mile, should attract a good turnout of leading two-year-olds.

Last year’s winner, Willie The Whipper, trained at Constable Burton in North Yorkshire by Ann Duffield, went on to finish sixth in this season’s French Derby at Chantilly. Prize money for Monday’s race has increased to £40,000.

Former course specialist Bluff Cove is once again honoured in the 23rd renewal of the Bluff Cove Handicap Stakes, a race for stayers over two-and-a-quarter miles, under the totepool Mobile banner.

Bluff Cove won five long distance races at Pontefract during the 90s, when trained by the late Reg Hollinshead.

This is the final race in this season’s Pontefract Stayers Championship, which incorporates all the races of at least two miles staged this year at the course. The owner, trainer and stable staff of the horse accumulating the most number of points during the series – now in its tenth year – each receive a memento and £1,000.

Riptide, trained near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire by Michael Scudamore, has already sewn up this season’s championship.

Middleham-based Mark Johnston heads the trainers’ category with nine winners in the season-long competition to find Pontefract’s top trainer, while Silvestre de Sousa has all but won the jockeys’ title with 12 winners this term at the track.

The racecourse’s ‘Postcode Lottery’ £2 promotion for this meeting concerns those living in the WF4 and WF5 area. See the racecourse’s website for details.

All of the action on Monday will be shown on the giant screen.

Pontefract’s 16-day 2014 season begins on Tuesday, April 8 and annual membership prices remain the same at £190 (single) and £255 (joint).