Rugby League Evening
The racing season at Pontefract kicks off on Easter Tuesday 3rd April.
Schools are out for the Easter holidays as well on this date – why not plan an Easter day out with the kids? Under 18s are FREE in ALL ENCLOSURES!
On the track, it’s the first leg of the 2018 Stayers Championship – Ponte favourite, Tuscan Gold, won the championship for the second time in 2017. He’ll be an 11yo in 2018 – will he be able to show the up and coming youngsters how it’s done again?
Don’t miss the EBF High-Rise Maiden either! With smart early horses from big yards often targeting it, it’s the first date to put in the diary! The race is named after Luca Cumani’s 1998 Derby winner who took this on his way to glory at Epsom.
Totepool Flat Cap & Whippet Family Day
The first of our Sundays is totepool Flat Cap & Whippet Family Day!
We all know that Yorkshire is ‘God’s Own County’ and we all are proud of the Yorkshire we live in. And we all know that Yorkshire is full of whippets and men wearing flat caps right? Well at Pontefract on Sunday 24th June, it will be!
- Come and marvel at the whippet racing as they speed up the track from midday.
- Enjoy ferret racing in the Picnic Enclosure throughout the afternoon
- Wear your flat cap and you could be one of 500 racegoers to pick up either a free racecard, drinks voucher or betting voucher !
We’re also out to show that Yorkshire is much more than Flat Caps and Whippets – it’s a warm, welcoming, brilliant place to be!
There will be a funfair, facepainting, circus, free sweets, activity packs and racecards for kids, pony rides, trips to the starts of races and a ‘Hunt The Golden Horseshoe’ competition on every Family Day!
Red Shirt Night and Beer Festival
For the second of our Friday Night Music Night series we welcome back a whole host of old friends for our Beer Festival.
Pennine Brewery, Revolutions Brewing Co, Ossett Brewery and Bier Huis will once again be joining us and, in 2018, The Bootleg Beatles will be adding the musical entertainment.
The Bootleg Beatles are one of the world’s most famous Tribute Bands and they’ll be performing their stunning recreation of the greatest songbook of all time at Pontefract on Friday Eve 20th July. Tracing the Fab Four’s journey through the sixties, every tiny detail is meticulously covered from costumes to authentic period instruments. Attracting critical acclaim wherever they perform, The Bootleg Beatles will perform their singalong set straight after the last race.
As always, there are 6 fantastic races to keep you entertained throughout the evening too!
And if all that wasn’t enough, we’ll be raising money for the incredible Injured Jockeys Fund through Jack Berry’s historic ‘Red Shirt Night’. The Red Shirt is purely optional – just bring yourself, your friends and your party spirit, and you’ll have a night to remember.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a new outfit, then look no further. The glitz and glamour hits Ponte Carlo on the 8th August.
With an array of hats, fascinators and stilettos, the ladies of Yorkshire truly do ‘dress to impress’ in an effort to win the coveted Best Dressed Lady Competition.
In 2018, our Best Dressed Lady will win a holiday for 2 to the stunning RIU resort in the Dominican Republic! This all inclusive week long trip includes flights! The runner up will win a fabulous three night break in the RIU Gresham Hotel in Dublin!
The winner will also compete to be the Best Dressed Lady in Yorkshire at the final at Doncaster Racecourse.
For those who want to simply have a fantastic day out, then make sure you arrive early as there’ll be a buttonhole and glass of bubbly for the first 500 ladies through the Premier Entrance.
Get here early to claim your place in the Champagne Bar, pick out your winners for the day and enjoy!
Gents, you’re more than welcome on our Ladies Day – it’s open to all. But, if you’re hoping to catch the eye of a flashy filly, make sure you’re dressed to the nines.
Where to be for the best views
A Premier Enclosure Badge gives access to each of the areas listed below:
- Covered seating
- The Parade Ring/Pre-Parade Ring
- Champagne Bar
- Lounge Bar
- Premier Dining Room
- Park Suite
- Premier Sports Cafe Bar
- Annual Badge Facilities
- Owners & Trainers Facilities
- With a Premier Enclosure Badge, you also have access to all other Enclosures.
Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure
A little further away from the Winning Post but still with excellent viewing, you'll also have access to:
- Terraced viewing stands
- The Parade Ring/Pre-parade Ring
- Furlong Bar
- Paddock Bar
- Balcony Bar
- Self Service Dining Room
- Riders' Bar
- The Grandstand & Paddock ticket also gives you access to the Silver & Picnic Enclosures.
The next Enclosure down, approximately 100 yards from the Winning Post offers:
- Silver Lounge Bar
- Tea Bar & Servery
- Fast Food Units
The most cost effective Enclosure is the Picnic Enclosure!
With a large expanse of grass, this area is normally packed out on Sunday race meetings with families enjoying a picnic, children's rides, bouncy castles and the like!
It's open on every day and is especially popular with racegoers who like to bring their car in to the Course and park up next to the rails! There's a tea bar and fast food units in this area!
How to find us
Pontefract Racecourse is brilliantly situated just half a mile from Junction 32 of the M62. Links with the A1, M1 and M18 are all within 10 miles of the Racecourse. Leaving J32 of the M62 (the Xscape junction), follow the signs for the Racecourse towards Pontefract town centre. The Racecourse is situated on the right hand side in Pontefract Park. For those of you who like to follow Sat Nav directions, our postcode is WF8 4QD.
There are 3 stations in Pontefract - Monkhill, Baghill and Tanshelf.
There is a fourth station at Glasshoughton which is by the Xscape complex which is a couple of miles from the Racecourse.
Pontefract Tanshelf is more or less opposite the entrance to the Park, whereas Monkhill and Baghill are fairly centrally located in Pontefract and would be 2 to 3 miles from the course.
There is a bus stop just outside Pontefract Park.
To check on bus timetables, please contact Metroline on 0113 245 7676.
Leave M62 at jct 32 Racecourse is 0.5 miles from jct 32.
We would recommend the following local taxi companies should you require a taxi to the Racecourse:
Data Cars (01977) 600680 Action Cars (01977) 703333 Slatters Taxis (01977) 705674 Ponty Cars (01977) 609999
All car parking is free of charge and is in the Park itself.
Parking is available in the Picnic Enclosure at a cost of £15 per car with a maximum of 4 adult occupants. This price includes a racecard and your entry in to the Picnic Enclosure.
What to wear
Dress Code in the Premier Enclosure only – smart casual, no scruffy jeans, shorts or tshirts
Racing is recorded as having taken place in Pontefract as early as 1648, just before the local Castle was taken by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. Races were held in the meadows near the town but these were discontinued by 1769. The townsfolk restarted the sport in 1801 and it has continued ever since. In 1827 the races were held in September and reported as being very fashionably attended. While it cannot "claim to be one of Yorkshire's major courses” it was used for some major races during World War II when other courses were out of action. Pontefract installed a photo finish in 1952 and was also the first English course to have a dope testing facility. The course traditionally began its afternoon race meetings at 2.45 pm - later than most other courses - so that miners at the adjacent colliery could finish the morning shift in time to go racing. This remained the case until the colliery closed in 2002. Today the racecourse is left-handed undulating course with a sharp bend into the home straight. Horses drawn low usually have the advantage. The final 3 furlongs of the track are uphill, making it quite testing. The course was originally a horseshoe of 1 1/2 miles, but in 1983, it was converted into a full circuit of about 2 miles. This made it one of the longest continuous flat racing circuits in Europe and allowed it to stage one of the longest races in the calendar at 2 miles 5 furlongs 133 yards.