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The West Yorkshire course has been hailed as one of the most innovative in the north of England and the fact that its meetings are nearly always well attended is testament to its popularity.
Overlooked by the M62 and only minutes from the A1, Pontefract is easily accessed by road. Leave the M62 at Junction 32 and follow the signs for Pontefract Town Centre. By rail, Pontefract Tanshelf is only a five-minute walk from the course and it is only two miles to Glasshoughton station but you would need a taxi to get to the course from Pontefract Monkhill or Pontefract Baghill as there are no direct bus services.
Once an additional section was added, left-handed Pontefract became the longest enclosed track in Britain - a complete circuit covers more than two miles and half a furlong - until York was modernised to stand in for Royal Ascot in 2005. The finishing line is on the crest of the rise and the last 5f is all uphill so the ability to stay further than the distance of a race is a definite advantage, even in sprints. A low draw is usually an advantage in races up to a mile, especially in big fields, though jockeys will occasionally head for the stands rail off the final turn if the ground is very soft.
The track stages five Listed races between April and October, the one-mile Pipalong Stakes in July being a feature, and is renowned for the competitive nature of its handicaps. Leading trainers from Newmarket and Lambourn often have runners but the locals more than hold their own, Kevin Ryan, in particular, boasting an excellent strike-rate across the boards. Ollie Pears’ two-year-olds and David O’Meara’s older horses also do well and Henry Candy does best of the southern raiders.
Monday 17th October Results
Monday 3rd October Results
Thursday 22nd September Results
Thursday 15th September Results