About Pontefract Racecourse
Pontefract Racecourse is a racecourse located in the market town of Pontefract, West Yorkshire. It’s about 11 miles northeast of Wakefield and about 15 miles southeast of Leeds. So this is a pretty popular racecourse which sees around 80,000 fans every season!
Moreover, Pontefract has a rich history of horse racing. Racing in the area dates back to 1648, just before Oliver Cromwell and his forces took over the castle. After a few unsuccessful attempts to host the races in a local meadow, racing in the area stopped. In 1801, the townsfolk restarted the sport, which is where events have been hosted since!
Pontefract Racecourse only offers Flat racing at its venue. The track is essentially a large loop just over two miles in length. It’s closer to 2 miles 5 furlongs in length though, making it one of the longest Flat circuits in Europe! It runs left-handed and has sizable gradients which include a stiff uphill finish.
Pontefract Racecourse is home to a handful of notable races every year. These are split up throughout the summer months, so there’s plenty of exciting race days to attend.
The Pontefract Castle Stakes, which takes place every June, is the most famous. This is a listed flat horse racing open to female horses aged 4 and older. It runs over a distance of 2,400m and comes with a prize pool of around £25.5k!
In terms of pure prize money, the Flying Fillies’ Stakes is the biggest race at Pontefract Racecourse. This is a listed flat open to fillies and mares aged three or older. It runs over a distance of 6 furlongs and has a prize pool of £40k! Three jockeys have won this race twice. However, no horse has managed to replicate this feat yet over its 22-year history!