Know for being a very demanding track, Pontefract is a favourite amongst racegoers and trainers alike. Thankfully, racing fans who can’t get there can watch a Pontefract Races live stream.
Here, we show you how to view this video stream free of any subscription fees.
You can also watch replays of all UK and Irish races covered by Racing TV and At The Races for free on their Horse Racing Archive at bet365.
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Pontefract Upcoming Live Streamed Races
Pontefract’s circuit is its signature feature and is a little over 2 miles long.
Based in the historic West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract, the racecourse is the home of the longest continuous and operational racetrack in the United Kingdom.
While not one of Yorkshire’s major tracks, it is one of Europe’s oldest, having been founded in 1648.
Pontefract Races Course Layout
The Pontefract course is in the shape of a fairly sharp and testing oval, a little more than two miles around with a short, two-furlong straight.
The course has several undulations throughout, with a gruelling climb between the three-furlong marker and the winning post.
Originally, the course was in the shape of a horseshoe and only 1 and a half miles long. However, in 1983 it was extended into an oval, becoming a full circuit. Most recently, it was crowned “Showcase Champion” by the Racecourse Association.
Although there is no straight course, Pontefract has the distinction of being the longest continuous horse racing circuit in the United Kingdom. This challenging course tends to favour handy, nippy types, although there is also a large emphasis on the horse’s endurance.
Races to Watch at Pontefract
There are five listed races held at the course during the season. Together they offer a combined total of £220,000 in prize money.
The most highly anticipated of these races is arguably the Silver Tankard Stakes, a flat race held over a distance of 1 mile and 6 yards. Open exclusively to two-year-old thoroughbreds, it is a rough challenge that tests the best of younger horses.
Pontefract also holds a series of themed race days annually, with some of these including Singles Night, Red Shirt Night, Ladies Day, Irish Night, and several Family Days.
The course is also known for being the first of the courses to install a photo finish facility in 1952 for races that are too close to call by the naked eye. It is also the first English racecourse to test horses for doping.
Pontefract Racecourse stages 16 flat fixtures a year between April and October, with its more notable races including:
|June||Pontefract Castle Stakes||Flat|
|August||Flying Fillies' Stakes||Flat|
|October||Silver Tankard Stakes||Flat|
Having three different enclosures (the Premier Enclosure, the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, and the Picnic Enclosure), racegoers have a few options from where they’d like to watch the race. The view from the Premier Enclosure is the most spectacular and it is also the closest to the Winning Post.
Due to its unique design, horses on the inside of the track usually have a slight advantage over those on the outside.
History of Horse Racing in Pontefract
There is evidence of racing in Pontefract going as far back as 1648 at the local castle just before it was overrun by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. Regular riding competitions again took place for a time in the town, but eventually, this too came to an end by 1769 as it was banned.
Nearly half a century after, the townsfolk restarted the sport in 1801 with many track events being held in quick succession. Racing has been a mainstay in Pontefract ever since.
By 1827, fully organised meetings were taking place in September; It was reported that the meetings were fashionably attended by several hundred fans of the sport.
A corner of the course was unfortunately lost in 1846 when a railway was built beside it. Three years later, a committee was formed to manage the racing at Pontefract more efficiently. This committee was responsible for building a second stand in 1879 and a new grandstand in 1919.
Although the course did temporarily close for the First World War, Pontefract was one of only two locations that remained open during World War 2. During this time, it hosted some major races like the November Handicap.
Traditionally, this course started its afternoon race meetings at 2:45 pm. This was done so that miners at the adjacent colliery could attend after completing their morning shifts. This continued until the colliery closed permanently in 2002.
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Further Live Stream Options
Last updated December, 2023
A beautiful location, Pontefract Racecourse has much to offer. For a bird’s-eye view we recommend watching this video and taking a look for yourself; It gives a preview of the live streamed course action:
Pontefract Races Live Stream FAQs
🎥 Do I need to pay a subscription for the Live Stream?
No, there is no subscription charge. You’ll need to register on the site first, which only takes a minute.
🏇 Are there other races available, too?
Yes, there are many other races that you can watch – just take a look at the schedule.
⌚ When will the race coverage start?
The race coverage begins approximately two to three minutes before the race is scheduled.