Dalgleish sets sights on historic Hamilton Park double

Hamilton Park Racecourse sits only 8.8miles from Keith Dalgleish’ s Belstane Racing Stables as the crow flies. However, despite his local links and considerable success at Hamilton Park since taking out a licence in 2011, Dalgleish has not yet won the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap or the Sodexo Scottish Trophy Handicap Stakes.

Friday marks the tenth running of the historic Lanark Silver Bell Handicap Stakes at Hamilton Park. The race started life at the now defunct Lanark Racecourse and was re-instated at Hamilton Park Racecourse in 2008. The trophy, believed to be one of the oldest sporting trophies in existence, dates back to 1165 when it was thought to have been gifted to the people of Lanark by King William ‘The Lion’ of Scotland.

Dalgleish’ s Corton Lad, making his third appearance in the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell, renews his association with promising apprentice Rowan Scott. The pair tasted big handicap success this season when winning the Buttonhook Handicap over 1m5f at Hamilton Park in early May and stable-mate Kensington Star, who re-opposes this time, was a close second in the same race.

Coupled with that Dalgleish fields three runners in Thursday evening’s newly upgraded Sodexo Scottish Trophy Handicap Stakes. With prize money more than doubled to £25,000 for the race, it could be a lucrative two days for the trainer.

Amy Blair has been a revelation at Hamilton Park for owner Jimmy Fyffe. His trademark style of taking up the running from the off, setting a strong pace and then holding off challengers up the stiff hill have seen the horse win three times in this season and he’s never won a race at any other course.

Three-year-old filly Whatsthemessage will be aiming for a hat-trick after a third success in five starts at Musselburgh earlier in the month. Archie’s Advice completes the Dalgleish trio.

Racing Manager, Sulekha Varma, said, “We have two exciting evenings of racing coming up with historic importance on both days.”

“Thursday night will see the first presentation of the exquisite Lord Hamilton of Dalzell Memorial Challenge Cup to the winning owner in The Sodexo Scottish Trophy Handicap Stakes. It was produced in memory of Gavin George-Hamilton, 2nd Baron Hamilton of Dalzell, after his death in 1952, and is coming back with permission of the current Lord Hamilton of Dalzell.”

“The peer played a key role in securing the return of racing to Hamilton Park Racecourse in 1926, and helped come up with a new location for the course that year and the idea of the unique ‘buttonhook’ shape of the track.”

“The Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell is a hugely popular race with considerable local significance and it is becoming more competitive year-on-year, so we’re well set for a fantastic two days.”

Friday night will also see the return of the Ladbrokes SPFL mascot race, although there is a question mark over whether Hamilton Park Racecourse’s own Duke will make the field after he broke his curfew at the Ladies’ Night after-party.

Gates for both action packed evenings will open at 3pm.

Thursday’s first race is at 5.10pm, while Friday’s action gets underway at 5.30pm. Legendary DJ George Bowie will take to the decks after the last race on Friday with his GBX Anthems set. Children under-18 go free. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.