Pontefract stage final evening race meeting of season

A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last meeting. Picture: Alan Wright.
A thrilling finish at Pontefract's last meeting. Picture: Alan Wright.

Jack Berry and Red Shirt Night have a place firmly in the history of Pontefract Racecourse.

As a trainer, Jack Berry was renowned for wearing his red shirt as his lucky symbol.

He was easy to spot when cheering home the likes of Mind Games and Paris House, two of his very best horses.

Since retiring, he’s been the driving force behind Jack Berry House - a state of the art rehabilitation centre for injured and retired jockeys in Malton.

Now in its 23rd year, tomorrow’s (Friday) charity race night is one of the most popular fixtures at Pontefract and marks the last of the three evening fixtures during the 2015 season.

The race meeting also incorporates a beer festival, with local breweries Revolutions Brewing Co, Penning Breweries, Ossett Brewery and the Bier Huis all showcasing their wares.

The beer festival will be held throughout the evening in the grandstand and paddock enclosure and racegoers in both this area and the premier enclosure will be able to access the trademark best selling ales.

After racing, the beer festival will continue for around an hour as local 80s tribute band Alibi take to the stage to entertain racegoers who will hopefully be enjoying some summer sunshine.

For those not partaking in the beer festival and and arriving by car, the racecourse’s designated driver promotion continues at this meeting.

People can pick up a voucher when they park the car and they will be able to claim two free soft drinks courtesy of Harrogate Spring Water.

Vouchers are redeemable from designated locations around the course.

There’s an exciting racing programme as well with six races kicking off at 6.30pm.

The feature race is the £15,000 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap – a five furlong sprint which will take around just a minute to win it.

Trainer Paul Midgley, whose sprinters are carrying all before them this season, won this race last year and will no doubt have a strong contingent once again!

There’s a varied supporting card with the Countrywide Freight Maiden Auction Stakes opening proceedings

This is the race where you’re likely to spot the odd star of the future.

Two years ago, Treaty of Paris won this before going on to beat The Grey Gatsby at York. Last year, George Dryden tore up the turf by winning impressively by six lengths.

With it being the last evening meeting of the summer at Pontefract and always a popular event, people can take advantage of the advanced booking rates available through the racecourse’s website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk