Last Meeting Review- Sunday 1st May

By Lewis Anderson

The sun shone brightly for most of the afternoon on the opening day of Hamilton Park’s 2016 season. A large crowd of just over 4,000 flocked to the racecourse for Sodexo Family Day on Sunday 1st May in which there was £86,000 on offer, a modern day record.

Family entertainment including a bouncy castle, crazy golf course, face painters, and much more saw the kids enjoy a day of fun-filled activities.

The feature contest on a competitive seven-race card was the £28,000 British Stallion Studs ‘Tangerine Trees’ EBF Conditions Stakes run over five furlongs.

The race, named in honour of Bryan Smart’s Group 1 winning sprinter, who was a firm favourite at the track, had been won by some classy types in previous years including Mecca’s Angel who went on to bigger and better things.

This year’s renewal saw the well-backed Glenrowan Rose (7/2) lead from start to finish under Phillip Makin, initiating the first leg of a double on the card for Carluke trainer Keith Dalgleish.

The second leg was sealed in the concluding 1m Handicap as 7/2 favourite Archie’s Advice breezed home by an eased down 2¼ lengths under Hawick-born jockey Jason Hart.

James Sullivan earned the plaudits for his masterful ride aboard the Jim Goldie trained Sir Chauvelin, who landed the £20,000 1m5f Buttonhook Handicap.

The 10/1 shot, who enjoyed a winter campaigning over hurdles, touched odds of 500/1 in running having been badly outpaced in the early stages of the race. But after being rousted along to keep touch, Sullivan delivered his charge with a power-packed ride to get up close home to beat Dark Ruler in a driving finish.

The winner was owned by Jimmy Fyffe, who said: “That was brilliant! I had a nice bet on him as well. I thought there was something wrong with him when I saw him struggling early on because the plan was to be up with the pace. I knew he would stay the distance and when I saw James keep pushing I thought we were in with a chance of a place.”

Tawdeea (5/1) displayed an excellent turn of foot to power clear of his rivals in the 1m Maiden under Daniel Tudhope. Trained in Yorkshire by David O’Meara for Middleham Park Racing, the four-year-old gelding was getting off the mark at the fifth attempt and looks to be a potentially useful recruit.

Kevin Ryan continued his impressive early season form as Sir Domino (13/2) landed a comfortable success in the 6f Handicap in the colours of Hambleton Racing. Given a patient ride by Graham Lee, the improving four-year-old was produced with his effort out wide and came home a cosy 1¼ lengths clear.

Mitchum (2/1f) got favourite backers off to a winning start as he ran up a hat-trick of wins with a gutsy success in the opening 5f handicap in the hands of 5Ib claimer Phil Dennis for trainer Ron Barr.

The Wilf Storey trained Nongaon (10/1) swept from last to first to claim the 1m3f Carolyn Murray 40th Birthday Celebrations Handicap under an ultra-cool ride from Shane Gray.

New Clerk of the Course, Sulekha Varma was delighted to see so many people turn out in their numbers despite the predicted poor weather forecast.

She said: “It’s been a great afternoon. It was good that the rain cleared up which made a big difference for everybody. The racing has been excellent, the racegoers are very friendly here and created a good atmosphere. It was great to see so many kids here as that’s what these family days are all about. If it means they get a taste for racing and enjoy seeing the horses then that’s a bonus.”