IT was a cold, wet day for racegoers who braved poor weather for the second Art of Racing meeting at Pontefract on Tuesday.
With trips to see the start of races and a beginners commentary booth for would be commentators, there was plenty going on at the track.
The racecourse had also chosen guest judges for the best turned out horse awards and engaged seven guest tipsters for those who love their racing.
The feature on the track was the listed Weatherbys Pipalong Stakes.
The one mile race gives fillies and mares the final chance to get valuable ‘black type’ before some go off to stud.
A fascinating field lined up for the 2017 renewal with the market headed by Dawn of Hope and Pirouette who had both contested the group two Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, the former being beaten under five lengths by the French superstar Qemah.
The pair kept close tabs on each other throughout the race but neither could get past the ultra game Lincoln Rocks for the O’Meara/Tudhope combination. It was the four year old’s first attempt at listed level and, granted a soft lead and given an excellent ride, she was extremely brave in victory.
Danny Tudhope brought up his double with Edgar Allan Poe in the Pontefract Squash and Leisure Club Handicap.
Rebecca Bastiman’s charge was turned out quickly following his win at Hamilton last week.
He looks like a horse going places granted some soft ground as he turned the race in to a procession, quickening up easily past long time leader and favourite Golconda Prince.
Another jockey scoring a double on the day was Pontefract specialist and season’s leading jockey Silvestre De Sousa.
His first winner on Tuesday was Sheepscar Lad, narrowly beaten on his last run at the track.
Running for Nigel Tinkler, the well backed favourite made no mistake this time round scoring by an easy two annd half lengths.
De Sousa’s double came aboard the hugely impressive Robero in the King Richard III Handicap.
Mick Easterby’s five year old had landed a gamble at Ascot a couple of starts ago and the favourite, shouldering top weight of 10 stone, made every yard of the running for an impressive success.
A rapidly improving performer Robero could well make his mark at a higher level.
The opening race on the card, the Dianne Nursery, went the way of Richard Fahey’s Areen Faisal.
Having made a hugely promising debut at Newmarket, the colt was sent to Royal Ascot but was ultimately well beaten in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Running in handicap company for the first time, Areen Faisal was a tidy winner from The Love Doctor, who had made an equally promising start to his career in the Brocklesby at Doncaster on the opening day of the season.
Both youngsters look as though they could progress well in time.
James Doyle made the journey to Pontefract for just one ride in The Brian Ellison Racing Maiden. His mount, Walton Street, was also the only runner on the card for Godolphin trainer, Charlie Appleby.
Those who took the hint rarely had a moment’s worry as Doyle’s mount showed a smart turn of foot to go from last to first in to the home straight and won eased down by one and three quarters lengths. It was an extremely impressive debut from the well bred son of Cape Cross who will undoubtedly be even better on faster ground and is definitely one to keep on the right side.
The final race on the card, the People’s Holdings Apprentice Handicap, was run at a furious pace as perennial front runner Mysterial took up his favourite position out in front.
As they turned in to the straight, the race looked at the mercy of the well backed favourite Canberra Cliffs who cruised into the lead. It wasn’t to be however, as long time leader Mysterial refused to give in and battled back to put his head back in front on the line for 7lb claimer Ger O’Neill, who was winning his second race on board the brave winner.