Hamilton Park,Saturday 3rd August 2013

It was Ladies Night here in Lanarkshire and while all the top horses and jockeys were in action at the last day of Glorious Goodwood today was more of Happy Hamilton as a pretty huge crowd turned up which was very good to see seeing it was also the start of the football season and with Celtic being at home with a 5.15 kick off that didn’t detract the punters from having an evenings racing. 

Not a high quality card but this is one of the joys of racing, I was watching Lord March who is in charge at Goodwood being interviewed on Friday on C4 Racing and I listened as he said that he wants only the best horses at Goodwood and it appeared he would be happy to see fewer courses with a cull in the fixture list. 
Ok this meeting had some poor quality contests but the thousands who turned up didn’t seem to care and were just glad to have some racing and a chance to socialise with their friends. 
Hamilton is a very go ahead course and for me one of the best of the little courses plus having a Class 3 Handicap with a prize fund of £15k was a real bonus when you look at most Saturday evening cards in the summer months so fair play to Hamilton. 
Anyway to the action, First race was a 6f Nursery for 2yo (0-65) which was taken by the first time visored Its All A Game, trained by Richard Guest who made all to comfortably hold off Bandolier by 3.25 lengths, The visor certainly helped him to concentrate but wether he can improve of this is another thing. 
Second contest was a 6f Maiden for 3yo+ which produced an 80-1 shock with Stoneacre Oskar from the Peter Grayson yard, having shown nothing in four starts on the AW he seemed to relish the switch to turf and picked up coming up the hill to deny Pilates who looked all over the winner until going down by a head, The winner had a rating of 39 so expect that to change, Pilates will win a race soon but now qualifies for handicaps while debutant Yarn would certainly come on for the run. 
Third race was a 5f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75) and a lot happened before the off, firstly the favourite Findog unshipped his jockey JP Guillambert before galloping off around the loop and got withdrawn on vetenary advice then when being loaded up the new favourite Chasing Dreams began to play up and go a bit loopy so the starter decided not to start him, In the end the race went to Chasing Dreams under Duran Fentiman who kept him alone on the stands side and he picked up well to beat Tom Sawyer and could now build from this.  
Below,Chasing Dreams after his win. 
The feature race was next a 6f Fillies Handicap 3yo+ (71-90) and a good field assembled here which was taken by course specialist Hopes N Dreams, a 5yo mare she made all the running and won readily from Dartrix in second and Meandmyshadow back in third spot, This was a fifth course win and rated 79 no doubt trainer Kevin Ryan will try to get her some black type before she retires to the paddocks but its Hamilton where she truly feels at home. 
After four sprints it was up in trip for Race Five a 1m Handicap for 3yo (56-75) which gave a second win for the Richard Guest stable with Ted’s Brother getting the better of Satanic Beat by a neck in a pulsating finish up the Hamilton Hill, the winner is a very tough and consistent horse and probably will win another race before the seasons out, the disappointment was the 3yo Wellingrove who came in a sorry last place, If he ends up at the sales I’d expect a good battle for him by flat and jumps trainers as he is not one to ignore just yet. 
Below, Teds Brother had a well earned drink. 
Final race was a 1m3f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75) and another reason why course specialists should be followed here as the 3yo Corton Lad obliged at 14-1 for trainer Keith Dalglish who trains in Carluke which meant this was the only win on the night for the “home” team, another horse who is holding his form well and just hung on by a neck from Cosmic Halo who also is holding his own quite well at the moment, The disappointment of the race was Calculated Risk who was potentially thrown in here but never showed much, he will be a lot better when hurdling again so don’t write him off after this run. 
A nice evenings racing then, nothing special but you don’t need top class horses to enjoy it, We saw some good tight finishes and a well behaved crowd. 
Special praise must go to raceday presenter John Sexton who kept the crowd informed without going OTT and talking constantly and handled the Best Dressed Lady contest very well indeed without turning into Cosmo Smallpiece which another certain person does on the racecourse, I won’t name names but I’m sure you know who I am referring to if you do plenty racing. 
Next Saturday is Haydock with the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes so the smarter looking full service review will be used for that event. 


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