Sunday 5th May
Great to see Hamilton Park off and running for 2019 with their Family Raceday today with the card including the Hamilton Park Racecourse New Hotel Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes and the Hampton By Hilton Opening This Summer Buttonhook Handicap.
Both races have been sponsored in the name of the new 118-bedroom hotel which is set to open at Hamilton Park later this summer. The Hampton by Hilton Hamilton Park Hotel will mark yet another significant milestone in the growth of Hamilton Park as a racing venue and will welcome guests for raceday and non-raceday events, as well as visitors to the local area.
The modern, en-suite rooms will also be used to accommodate Racing Staff who have travelled extended distances to bring runners to the course.
Off the track, the fun-filled Family Raceday promises a huge selection of free children’s activities to entertain the little ones and big kids alike. Segways, virtual reality gaming and the inflatable climbing wall make their racecourse debut, joining the ever-popular bungee trampolines, face painting and human table football – with all activities included in the ticket price!
Sulekha Varma, racing manager at Hamilton Park, said: “It is fantastic to be able to maintain our record-breaking commitment to prize money of £1.33 million this summer. The quality and quantity of entries for our opening fixture is superb and we are very much looking forward to opening our gates for an exciting new season.
“We work hard to make sure we reward those connected with horses at all levels of the sport and this is reflected both in our excellent prize money and award-winning Owners’ Experience. I am also pleased that, later this summer, we will be able to provide comfortable and modern accommodation for Racing Staff who have travelled long distances with the opening of the Hampton by Hilton Hamilton Park Hotel.”
Elsewhere, the racecourse has also continued to invest in their award-winning facilities including resurfacing the Pre-Parade Ring and improving the Owners & Trainers and public facilities to extend the “Lovely Loos” concept. Plus, for the hungry racegoers there’s a brand-new delicious pizza offering with take-away options for the end of the evening.
Ayr stages a seven race jumps card on Tuesday which carries £60,000 in prize-money and features some competitive racing.
The highlight of the afternoon is the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Chase, a Class 3 contest over 2m 4f with £17,800 in the prize fund.
One of the furthest travelled runners of the day runs in this with Peter Bowen sending Dr Robin on the 800-mile round trip form his Pembrokeshire stables. This three-time chase winner takes on several capable rivals including course and distance winner Blakerigg, trained by Nicky Richards, fresh from his win with Takingrisks in the Coral Scottish Grand National, and due to be ridden by Brian Hughes.
The main supporting race is the Weddings At Western House Hotel Beginners’ Chase over 3m and Carluke-based trainer Keith Dalgleish gives Alfie’s Choice his first run over the bigger obstacles in this, with the seven year-old having won his last outing over hurdles at Hexham back in October. Jim Goldie’s Get Out The Gate is another interesting runner here.
The final race on the card is the Celebrate At The Western House Hotel Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race over two miles where Ruth Jefferson, who has a good record in this type of race, introduces Cyrus Keep with Henry Brooke taking the mount.
The retirement of Ruby Walsh at Punchestown took everyone by surprise and he has gone down as one of the greatest big race jump jockeys of all time.
His record in Scotland wasn’t too bad either and his rides at Ayr (24 wins from 77 mounts) showed a £60.85 profit to a £1 level stake and included a 2002 Scottish Grand National aboard Take Control.
At Kelso he was 2/7, at Perth 6/31, while his only ride at Musselburgh was a loser!
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