To complement the racing, four of the county’s Rugby League teams took part in some racing themed challenges to compete for the new Rugby League Takeover Cup, writes Richard Hammill
The feature race on the card was the £25,000 Rob Burrow MND Care Centre Appeal Handicap and David O’Meara’s Charging Thunder maintained a perfect course record when scoring his second success at Ponte under Danny Tudhope.
The winner made most of the running and was not hard pressed to win by three-and-a-half lengths despite racing a little lazily.
Charging Thunder is ultra consistent and may make a quick reappearance at York on Friday.
It was certainly an evening for course specialists and, fittingly, the Mr Wolf Handicap saw Mr Orange, Round The Island and Corinthia Knight line up in a 13-strong field. Before the race, they had chalked up an impressive 16 wins between them.
While Mr Orange was a little disappointing, Round The Island and Corinthia Knight came to the front in the home straight and settled down for a fantastic battle. It was, however, Corinthia Knight, who registered his fourth course victory under the welter weight of 10st 3lbs, given a fantastic ride by Hollie Doyle.
King Of Tonga has already struck twice at the West Yorkshire track in 2022, but could not quite make it a perfect three as Paul Midgley’s Elegant Erin scored a cosy success to maintain her unbeaten start to the season.
The winner has now won at two of the Yorkshire tracks this season, which gives her a good start in the search for the McIvors/Go Racing In Yorkshire ‘Wonder Horse’. A bonus of £100k is up for grabs for the first horse to win at every track across the county.
There was a big priced double on the night for jockey Shane Gray as he scored aboard Unplugged (12-1) and Overhaugh Street (16-1).
Unplugged defied a huge absence of 1078 days when taking the 1m2f handicap for David Easterby. In the process he got the better of his well fancied stable mate, Bavardages, who was beaten just half-a-length into second.
The winner had been a promising horse in his youth when trained by Andrew Balding and the Easterbys will be hoping they have an improving horse on their hands.
Overhaugh Street took the Stayers Race under a fine ride – getting first run on the favourite, Arabescato, who simply could not reel back the winner.
The 1m handicap went to Ed Dunlop’s My Silent Song. The three-year-old filly was another to maintain a perfect course record having won at the track as a two-year-old.
Paul Mulrennan did the steering on Paul Turner’s charge and, with her clear liking for the track, she could be back again later in the year.
The opening two-year-old contest on the card went to David Loughnane’s Double O.
The owners, Amo Racing, are already having a stellar season with their two-year-olds and Double O could be another to add to their battalion. Beaten in a hot race at Doncaster on debut, Double O appreciated the step up in trip and is definitely one to keep on the right side.
Off the course, it was Wakefield Trinity who took the inaugural Takeover Challenge Cup proving the best of the teams to compete in the racing challenges! With some great tips and memorable performances on the mechanical horse and in the commentary competition, they certainly provided some laughs on the night!
The next race meeting at the Yorkshire track is on Father’s Day – Sunday, June 19. The meeting forms part of the Sky Bet Sunday Series with an incredible £200k up for grabs. It’s the first Family Day of the season and is always a popular event. Full details are available at the racecourse website www.pontefract-races.co.uk