Last Meeting Review- Thursday 23rd June

By Lewis Anderson

Racegoers were in party mood as chart-topping 2014 X Factor winner Ben Haenow headlined a sun-kissed evening of fantastic racing and entertainment on the 51st staging of Saints & Sinners Racenight.

There was plenty of glitz and glamour on show as a massive crowd flocked to the Lanarkshire venue for one of the most eagerly-anticipated nights on the British racing calendar. A terrific amount of money was raised for the charity which helps disadvantaged people in Scotland.

Haenow, whose dreams of becoming an artist came true after winning the hit ITV show two years ago, took to the stage after the final race alongside well-known Capital FM DJ Garry Spence. They were both introduced to excited on-lookers by young Scottish pop sensation Angel Gold, who warmed up the crowd after performing a few of her own songs.

Gold, from Larkhall, expressed her delight at playing in front of such a fabulous atmosphere: “I would like to thank Hamilton Park for having me perform tonight and to Capital FM for their hospitality backstage. I loved every minute of it and Ben Haenow put on an excellent show!”

Mentored by global music-producer Simon Cowell during the competition, Haenow saw his debut single “Something I Need” become the 2014 Christmas number one on the UK charts and has since gone from strength to strength following the release of his first studio album last year.

The duo had Hamilton Park rocking into the late evening sunset with many teenage fans singing along to a number of their favourite tunes. As for the racing, it proved to be a successful night for short-priced winners.

On an historic day when the country went to the polls for the European Referendum, it was Godolphin hot-shot Parliamentarian who won the vote amongst favourite backers in the Thistle Bloodstock Maiden.

Sent off the odds-on 4/6 favourite, the son of Dubawi, who had been gelded since his debut last October, needed every yard of the 1m1f trip as he eventually wore down his rivals under Phillip Makin, handing Southern raider Charlie Appleby a winner with his solitary runner on the card.

Mark Johnston’s excellent strike-rate with two-year-olds continued as Montataire (6/4) ran out a comfortable 2¼ length winner of the 6f Highland Spring Water Maiden, a race which the Middleham trainer has now won for the fourth year in a row.

The well-bred colt by Cape Cross appreciated the drying ground as he quickened up nicely under Joe Fanning to get off the mark at the third attempt, having ran well at Ripon and Goodwood previously.

Another eye-catching winner on the night was 5/1 shot Curtain Call who rattled home in a very quick time to win the 5f Patersons of Greenoakhill Handicap for the in-form Richard Fahey stable.

Running in the popular silks of Cheveley Park Stud, the youngest horse and only filly in the race benefitted from a patient ride by 7Ib claimer Adam McNamara to fend off all his challengers.

Pat Shanahan’s horses are always worth noting when sent over from his base in Ireland and he teamed up to good effect once more with the track’s leading owners – Thistle Bloodstock Limited – to record back-to-back doubles at the track.

Lara Carbonara (11/4) boosted the trainers’ impressive course record with a gutsy victory in the opening 1m5f Amateur Riders’ Handicap and Born Innocent (7/2) claimed his second course & distance success in a driving three-way finish to the 6f Handicap.

The Alistair Whillans-trained Hidden Rebel (5/1) bounced back to form as he swept from last to first under Connor Beasley to claim the feature contest on the evening – the £10,000 EBF Stallions Captain JC Stewart Fillies Handicap.