Pontefract Racecourse looks to future of racing with latest meeting
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The National Horseracing College, based just outside Doncaster, was set up in 1984 and provides a range of courses at all levels for people who are looking at the horseracing industry as a future career, writes Richard Hammill.
It also offers those currently in the business the chance to develop their qualifications and skills and provides the ideal opportunity to nurture the grass roots and future of the sport.
The apprentices kicked proceedings off with the third round of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars series and Reigning Profit made a little bit of Ponte history by becoming the first horse to win consecutive races at the track!
He had won the final race at the previous race meeting and followed up in some style under Christian Howarth for trainer Ruth Carr.
Once again, he was bounced out of the stalls and made all the running to win, going away, by two lengths. Have we got another Ponte specialist on our hands?
The Northern Commercials Novice saw an impressive winner in 2022 when Karl Burke’s Yahsat scorched clear to win easily. She went on to finish second to subsequent G1 winner, The Platinum Queen. Burke saddled two runners in this year’s renewal and they finished first and second, with World of Darcy claiming the stable bragging rights over Dawn Charger.
Both look potentially useful with Sam James speaking in glowing terms of the winner. Sam James went on to secure a quickfire double when Craig Lidster’s Masque of Anarchy won the 1m 2f handicap.
The winner fought off all challengers and has now won at three of the Yorkshire tracks, putting him in the running for the Go Racing In Yorkshire Wonder Horse competition.
The Cookstown Cafu is named after Leeds United fan favourite Stuart Dallas. Leeds supporters have not had too much to cheer about recently, but if they followed the horse at Ponte they’d have something to smile about as he secured his second win at the track in some style.
Kevin Ryan’s runner made all the running, quickened away smartly and looks to be improving quickly.
Quintus Arrius almost gave Ryan a quick double but failed by just a short head to hold off the challenge of Hugo Palmer’s Ertebat in the NHC Handicap.
There was a lengthy stewards inquiry before Paul Mulrennan’s mount was confirmed the winner.
The 1m maiden on the card looked a useful contest beforehand. There were positive vibes over Sean Woods £375,000 newcomer Laoisman, as well as good support for Richard Fahey’s Reidh, but neither could hold off the sustained challenge of Nine Six Five for the in-form George Boughey.
Ben Curtis’ mount was held up behind the leaders and before quickening smartly to go by the promising Laoisman with Reidh right behind. The first three pulled nicely clear of a decent looking field in a good time and can all win their share of races.
The final race on the card saw 26 runners wanting to take part. The race was split into two divisions with Premiership and She’s Got Bottle scoring in their respective race.
The former, ridden by Connor Beasley, was winning for the first time in 11 starts while the latter showed the benefit of her reappearance run when winning by an easy 4¼ lengths.
The next meeting at Pontefract is is an evening one with Music Night on Friday, May 26 and the incredible Kim Wilde performing after racing. Tickets are still available and are currently on sale via the website (pontefract-races.co.uk).