Pontefract racecourse is a horse racing track located in Pontefract, Yorkshire, England. It is owned and managed by the Pontefract Park Race Company Ltd. The course is left- handed, and is about 5km long, with the last three furlongs steeping up a hill, making the finish very challenging. The course hosts flat races, and is considered as the largest flat racing track in the whole of Europe. It is easily accessible by public transportation, making it convenient to most racegoers. By train, one can choose to either use the Glasshoughton orTanshelf station. Bus services are also available and run frequently from Pontefract to Castleford.
Racing at Pontefract racecourse began way back in 1648. Back then, races occurred at the meadows near Pontefract. They however ceased happening in 1769 due to unknown reasons, and resumed in 1801. Unlike other racecourses, Pontefract remained functional during the World War 2. It was used as a venue for important races such as Lincoln Handicaps. It became the first racecourse in 1952 to install a photo finish, but was among the last racecourses to stage evening meetings.
The most notable races held at Pontefract are the Pontefract Castle Stakes and the Pomfret Stakes. The Pontefract Castle Stakes takes pace every June, and it first happened in 2005. Only fillies and mares are allowed to take part in the race. Pomfret Stakes on the other hand is scheduled for every July. It first happened in 2004, but was run as a handicap race. This year, the racecourse will be holding a total of six fixtures, three of them being Evening meetings and the other three being Sunday Meetings. There will be live concerts, with the Bootleg Beatles performing on the 20th of July after the racing. The racecourse will also be hosting the annual Ladies Day on the 8th of August, where the best dressed lady will be awarded with a holiday for two to the Dominican Republic.