Press Release 21.04.2021
LANARKSHIRE RESORT CONTINUES TO INVEST AS THE NEW SEASON GETS UNDERWAY
With the new season getting underway at Hamilton Park on Sunday 2 May, the Lanarkshire racecourse has announced its intention to continue its long track record of investment in prize money despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Total prize money for the season is set to exceed £1 million, with the racecourse executive committing to significantly invest in its feature races across the season, beyond the required minimum values. This investment will see races such as the Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes, Buttonhook Handicap (both 2 May) and the Braveheart Handicap (14 May) run at levels similar to those originally planned pre-pandemic. Later in the season Fair Friday’s meeting on 16 July will still showcase the richest racing of the season with a card of Prize Money over £100k to include both the Glasgow Listed Stakes and Scottish Steward’s Cup, with the historic, and ever popular, Lanark Silver Bell (27 August) once again expected to be one of the richest races of its type in the UK.
Like all professional sports and hospitality venues, the resort has endured the most challenging period in its history, not least through the lack of spectators for the 2020 season which, once it was allowed to commence in late June, was completed behind closed doors. However, under the incredible leadership of chief executive, Vivien Currie MBE, this robust business has been steered through the pandemic’s challenges on all fronts, and has its sights set firmly on the future.
‘2020 was without a doubt the most challenging of my twelve years as CEO at Hamilton Park’ says Vivien. ‘That being said, over the years we have diversified and grown our business which has enabled us to ride the Covid-19 storm, allowing us to now cautiously turn our attention to what lies ahead as we look to continue our upward curve of business growth.
We were able to run a proportion of our race meetings last year with no public attendance, which was certainly better than not racing at all as we were able to keep the wheels turning on an industry that supports employment and businesses both locally and across the country.’
Racecourses in Scotland were recipients of £2 million in grant funding from Scottish Government having had the opportunity of explaining the complexities of the sport’s funding model to the government officials. This has supported all five tracks in the face of significant lost income; something which Hamilton Park is extremely grateful for.
‘Working with Scottish Racing, we have an excellent relationship with government who have been tremendous in keeping us abreast of developments with the pandemic across the country and the implications for our sport. We are most appreciative of this much needed funding which will allow us to not only safeguard the jobs of my valued team of staff, but also ensures that we are in position to continue to invest in our race programme, which ultimately filters through to essential parts of the industry including local trainers and stable staff as well as the wider economy.’
Leading race-horse trainer and director at Hamilton Park, Mark Johnston added ‘The board of directors at Hamilton Park has always been committed to delivering the best race programme that we possibly can. By enhancing our key feature races we are aiming to attract some of the finest horses to Scotland, to ultimately ensure that our customers, whether they are Owners, Racegoers or Members, are rewarded by a trip to Hamilton.’
Due to current restrictions, the racecourse has confirmed that its fixtures on 2 May and 14 May will take place behind closed doors with no members of the public in attendance. However, tickets for the remainder of the season, including Ladies Night and Lanark Silver Bell Racenight are on sale now, with the team working hard to ensure that they are ready to safely welcome racegoers as soon as restrictions allow.
‘The support we’ve received from all of our partners and customers over the past year has been incredible’ adds Vivien. ‘We can’t wait to get the new season underway, and hopefully it won’t be long before we can see our racegoers face to face once more – rest assured Hamilton Park is ready to race!’ For more information on Hamilton Park’s facilities and fixtures visit www.hamilton-park.co.uk.