Pontefract’s final Sunday meeting this season featured the track’s richest race of the year.
The £55,000 listed EBF Highfield Farm Flying Fillies Stakes was the highlight of last weekend’s Sunday Service Family Day.
Before the equine action got underway on the track, racegoers were invited to explore different aspects of the racing industry by visiting various zones that had been set up around the enclosures.
Almost a year ago to the day, Queen Kindly won the group two Lowther Stakes at York and the flashy daughter of Frankel came back to something near her best when taking the feature race on Sunday.
In an excellent renewal of the race, the course welcomed two overseas travellers in the shape of Spain Burg from France and Peticoatgovernment from Ireland. They failed to land a blow though as Richard Fahey’s speedy stable star made most of the running to record an excellent success from the fast finishing Eartha Kitt.
The pair had finished second and third in a group three race at York earlier in the season and the form of the race looks strong.
Queen Kindly is likely to follow in similar hoofprints to last year’s winner Mehronissa and has the group one Haydock Sprint Cup on her agenda.
Pontefract are hoping this race will be upgraded to a group three in future years.
There were doubles on the card for Silvestre De Sousa, Josephine Gordon and David O’Meara.
The season’s leading jockey De Sousa kicked the day off in style with a win on Mark Johnston’s Viscount Loftus in the the EBF Trevor Woods Memorial Novice.
Having won on his debut, the colt was thrown in at the deep end at Royal Ascot for his second start.
Back in calmer waters, the promising Viscount Loftus stayed on strongly to give weight and a beating to his six rivals with newcomer Showmethedough running a good race in second.
The De Sousa double came on board Wordiness in the Moor Top Farm Shop Hemsworth Handicap.
David Evans’ stayer has been ultra consistent in his career and was having his 65th start. It was, however, his first trip to Pontefract and he battled on bravely to get the better of Almost Gemini close home.
David O’Meara has trained eight winners at Pontefract so far this season and, while the yard had been going through a quieter spell in the last few weeks, they look right back in scintillating form now as the trainer registered a double on the day courtesy of Isabella and Short Work.
Sir Robert Ogden’s Isabella looks a filly firmly on the up and she made every yard of Ernie’s Handicap over one mile.
Isabella made it two out of two for the season on her handicap debut, repelling the well regarded Eagle Creek from Simon Crisford’s Newmarket yard.
O’Meara’s second winner on the card, Short Work, had run some decent races for his previous trainer Ralph Beckett but was making his first trip to the winners’ enclosure for his current yard.
He blasted off in front and was never seriously challenged despite looking tired in the closing stages.
Last season’s champion apprentice Josephine Gordon has been making a big name for herself this year and she completed a double courtesy of Glassy Waters and Sandra’s Secret.
Saeed Bin Suroor sent just one runner to the West Yorkshire track on Sunday when Glassy Waters went to post for the totepool Maiden Stakes.
Having been campaigned over one and half miles on his two career starts, the Godolphin colt was dropped down to a mile on this occasion and his jockey was keen to make the most of his stamina and set out to make all the running at a good pace.
He was never headed and passed the line one and a half lengths ahead of Mick Channon’s Caravela who ran a race full of promise himself.
Gordon’s double came aboard Sandra’s Secret who simply ran her rivals ragged in the Nova Display Handicap.
Quickly away, the daughter of Zebedee repelled all challenges to win for the second time at the course for her owners Moor Top Farm Shop Hemsworth, who sponsored the stayers race on the card.
Croquembouche provided the biggest shock on the day as he took the totepool Handicap at 25-1.
Ed De Giles’ eight year old had the advantage of years’ worth of experience over his rivals as he clung on desperately to hold off three year old Melting Dew for the Sir Michael Stoute team.
Given a superb ride by 3lb claimer Callum Shepherd, Croquembouche simply refused to let anything pass and held on in a grandstand finish with just half a length separating the first four horses.
Pontefract’s next race meeting is on Thursday, September 21. It is the first of two meetings at the track in September.
For full details, visit the course’s website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk