The race meeting forms part of the Sky Bet Sunday Series and ITV cameras will be there, writes Richard Hammill.
Pontefract is the fourth of six courses to host a Sky Bet Sunday Series Race Meeting. The six seven-race Sunday cards all have a twilight slot and be shown in their entirety on ITV4, with prize money totalling £200,000.
The gates open at 12 noon with the first race at 3.45pm. For those arriving early, there is a myriad of entertainment taking place before the equine stars hit the track.
The race meeting has historically had the ‘flat cap and whippets’ tag and there will be plenty going on to celebrate a fabulous day out in Yorkshire.
The whippets from the Yorkshire Pedigree Whippet Racing Club will take to the racecourse from around 2pm as they set the scene for their equine counterparts later in the afternoon. With around 30 whippets racing over a series of races, it is going to be a fast and furious way to start proceedings.
The Flat Cap Brass will provide musical entertainment throughout the course during the afternoon. The marching band will play a mix of traditional and modern music with a Yorkshire twist and lots of fun and laughs along the way.
As has become tradition on Sundays at Pontefract, young racegoers will be well looked after throughout the day – especially in the Picnic Enclosure where there are kids rides, face painting, candy floss and free activity books. Eagle eyed kids need to look out for the Golden Horseshoe too – there’s a hamper of sweets to be won for the first person to find it.
And no-one will want to miss out on the Yorkshire Pudding throwing competition in the Parade Ring before racing starts.
If you have ever wondered what happens down at the start of races – in the calm before the race explodes in to action – then you will be able to pick up a free minibus that takes you down to the starting stalls where you can see the horses and jockeys in the moments before the race .
The minibus will bring you straight back after the race. Available for any race over 5f or 6f, it provides a fascinating insight into what goes on in the open space of the Parkland.
On the track, the feature is the £70,000 Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies’ Stakes – the most expensive race to be ever run at Pontefract and the highlight on a card which has in excess of £200,000 worth of prize money.
As always Family Tickets (£27) are available in advance for two adults and their children along with a range of alternative packages. Visit www.pontefract-races.co.uk or call 01977 781307.