by Gordon Brown

ARCHIE WATSON bids for a high-profile double in the two feature races on Hamilton Park’s opening card of the season on Sunday.

The Lambourn-based handler saddles Great Esteem in the £30,000 MansionBet Beaten By A Head Buttonhook Handicap and Dragon Symbol in the £35,000 MansionBet Best Odds Guaranteed EBF Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes.

Both Berkshire raiders, this afternoon partnered by Adam McNamara, have enjoyed plenty of success on the all-weather this winter with the latter unbeaten in three starts.

Phillip Makin landed both races during his time in the saddle and the jockey-turned-trainer is represented by Muker in the conditions stakes.

The Yorkshire handler rode 58 winners at the Lanarkshire track but so far hasn’t hit the target with eighteen runners from his base near Thirsk.

He said: “It was quite a lucky track when I was riding and I also remember winning the Glasgow Stakes on Raymond Tusk for Richard Hannon the year before I started training in 2018.

“I’d like to think Muker has a chance and he has plenty of speed. He had a good season as a two-year-old and wasn’t beaten far at Nottingham on his comeback.”

Another in the line-up is Ben Macdui for last year’s leading Hamilton Park jockey Kevin Stott.

Named after the second highest mountain in Scotland, he made a winning debut over course and distance last summer before finishing a close second in Group 3 company at Glorious Goodwood.

Veteran eight-time course winner Economic Crisis makes her 150th career appearance in the curtain-raising five-furlong handicap.

Alan Berry’s speedy 12-year-old is the joint winning-most performer at Hamilton Park along with retired pair Diet and Hopes N Dreams.