A BEAR, DOG, HAMSTER and SQUIRREL took over Hamilton Park Racecourse today at The Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell SPFL Mascot Race.

The outlandish furry creatures from nine Premiership clubs, including Rangers and Hibs from the Championship joined Hamilton Park Racecourse’s own mascot, The Duke, for the 1/2 furlong flat mascot race.

The event was won by 25/1 shot The Duke who blew away the field.

Motherwell’s Amber finished in second place with his pal Claret in third. Nuts The Killie Squirrel brought up the rear in last.

The group were earlier paraded before punters, with mischievous Partick Thistle mascot Kingsley having to be corralled by stewards. The Duke – who was designed by Erin Maxwell, a pupil at Chatelherault Primary School – had been 4/1 but was priced up to 25/1 after rumours of an injury. But he shook it off and won through.

The Lanark Silver Bell was won by trainer Mark Johnston’s Polarisation (3/1) ridden by jockey Joe Fanning.

Vivien Kyles, Chief Executive at Hamilton Park Racecourse, said: “The Duke was a worthy winner in the end.  We have been delighted to host the mascot race. It was a really great fun event for our punters and a fantastic way to kick-off an action packed night of racing at the renowned Ladbrokes Silver Bell Racenight.  Special mention must go to trainer Mark Johnston in the Lanark Silver Bell also. It is his fifth win since the historic race arrived at Hamilton Park Racecourse in 2008 and is worthy of huge congratulations.”

David Macdonald of Ladbrokes said: “The Duke has the home advantage he knew the fastest ground. He’s been training in preparation for this and was in front of his home support. It was a shock result for the bookies.”

Racegoers at the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Racenight enjoyed a real treat on the last evening meeting of the season with a high-octane set from legendary DJ George Bowie with his GBXperience.

On the track, punters enjoyed the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap Stakes (Class 3) and its £26,000 prize pot.

The race’s trophy is believed to be the oldest sporting trophy in existence, having being gifted to the people of Lanark by King William ‘The Lion’ in 1165 and is set to be the highlight of the racing action.

For more information on Hamilton Park Racecourse’s facilities and fixtures visit www.hamilton-park.co.uk.

Kingsley (Partick Thistle) 3/1

Sunshine The Leith Lynx (Hibs) 5/1

Hoopy The Huddle Hound (Celtic) 6/1

Broxi Bear (Rangers) 8/1

Nuts The Killie Squirrel (Kilmarnock) 10/1

Tynie Tiger (Hearts) 10/1

Terry The Terror (Dundee United) 12/1

Hammy the Hamster (Hamilton Accies) 14/1

Claret and Amber The Bears (Motherwell) 16/1

Nessie (Inverness Caledonian Thistle) 20/1

The Duke (Hamilton Park