Hamilton Park Racecourse’s new season gets off to a flyer on Sunday with the traditional opening fixture Cancer Research UK Family Day – sparking the start of a sizzling six month period featuring 18 flat racing fixtures and two exclusive standalone music concerts.
The Lanarkshire venue is describing its 2012 calendar as the “perfect package of racing and entertainment”, with the following just a few of the highlights this year:
- A 10% increase in racing prizemoney to £752,000 which will help the racecourse attract quality fields to fixtures including William Hill Braveheart Night, Glasgow Stakes Raceday and Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Racenight.
- The homecoming of the hugely popular Saints & Sinners charity meeting on Thursday, June 28, previously based in Hamilton for 42 years from 1965 until 2007.
- Two more exclusive standalone live music concerts, including the biggest name ever to perform at Hamilton Park in Tom Jones (Friday July 6), followed by Steps and Peter Andre (Saturday July 7).
- A new partnership with McGhee’s Bakery to offer racegoers a special “afternoon tea” advance ticket, which is being branded McGhee’s Teaz.
The action-packed season gets underway this Sunday when gates open at 12.15pm. Cancer Research UK area volunteer manager Rowan Main will cut a ribbon to mark the start of the new season and there will be the traditional charity “dash” run by Energie Fitness for Women, Hamilton, ahead of the first of seven races at 2.15pm. As always, all under-16s accompanied by an adult can enjoy free entry.
The charity family race day has long been the season-opener for Hamilton Park, with £8,000 raised by racegoers since 2005 and Rowan Main is looking forward to another super Sunday at Hamilton Park.
She said: “There’s always a great buzz at Hamilton Park on the opening day and we’re really looking forward to this year’s fixture and raising more much-needed funds for Cancer Research UK. We receive no government funding for our research and we rely overwhelmingly on the public’s support.”
Hamilton Park chief executive Vivien Kyles added: “Our first meeting of the season is always a thrilling occasion and there is added excitement this year given the many highlights which lie ahead. At Hamilton Park we work all year round on a huge variety of events but there’s nothing to rival the buzz of a big meeting at the racecourse so Sunday can’t come soon enough.”
Following Sunday’s fixture, racegoers can enjoy new themed meeting Caribbean Night on May 11 or warm up for the Scottish Cup Final at William Hill Braveheart Night on May 18.
June brings McGhee’s Teaz Afternoon Tea Raceday and Saints & Sinners Night, while in July, following the music concerts, DJ Reggie Yates provides the entertainment at Family Night on July 14.
Ladies Night and Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Racenight are the standouts in August, there are a host of family-themed fixtures in September before the season closes on October 1.
All of this is underpinned by Hamilton Park’s ongoing commitment to investing in racing, with total prizemoney for the season up to £752,000 – a 10% increase on 2011’s figures – to help encourage the UK’s top owners and trainers to send their best horses to Hamilton.
Kyles continued: “There is so much hard work and planning that goes into preparing for the new season that I’d like to thank all of the team here who have worked to do just that as well as our many sponsors who continue to support Hamilton Park.
“It’s now time for the most enjoyable part of the job – welcoming tens of thousands of racegoers, families and music fans through our gates and making these 20 events a real success and their days and nights out memorable ones.
“The 2012 fixture list has tremendous variety, combining some very strong racing with many different fun themes which will appeal to a wide audience. Of course, right in the heart of our season are the non-race day concerts featuring Tom Jones then Steps and Peter Andre which are our biggest yet and sure to be two of the best live music events in Scotland this summer. We can’t wait to get started.”
Hamilton Park’s new season kicks off this Sunday with Cancer Research UK Family Day. For further information on Hamilton Park or for tickets contact the racecourse on 01698 283 806 or visit www.hamilton-park.co.uk
Sunday’s race card is as follows:
- 2:15 Bet With totepool On The Guineas Handicap
- 2:45 Cancer Research UK Claiming Stakes
- 3:25 totepool Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes
- 4:00 Scottish Racing Maiden Stakes
- 4:35 Caribbean Night On Friday Handicap
- 5:10 totepool.com Buttonhook Handicap
- 5:45 Racing UK On Sky 432 Handicap
Full 2012 fixture list:
- Sun 6th May (a) Cancer Research UK Family Day
- Fri 11th May (e) Caribbean Night
- Fri 18th May (e) William Hill Braveheart Night
- Thu 7th June (a) Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce Raceday
- Wed 13th June (e) Euro 2012 Racenight
- Wed 20th June (a) Afternoon Tea Raceday
- Thu 28th June (e) Saints & Sinners Racenight
- Tue 3rd July (a) Scottish Farmers Market Raceday
- Fri 13th July (e) John Smiths Fair Friday Racenight
- Sat 14th July (e) Racenight with Reggie Yates
- Thu 19th July (a) Glasgow Stakes Raceday
- Sat 4th August (e) Ladies' Night
- Fri 24th August (e) Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Racenight with Music Tributes to Lady Gaga and Queen
- Thu 30th August (a) Scottish Trophy Day
- Mon 3rd September (a) Isle of Skye Whisky Scottish Owners and Trainers Day
- Sun 23rd September (a) Hamilton Park's Got Talent Raceday
- Mon 24th September (a) September Holiday Family Fun Day with Peppa Pig and Postman Pat
- Mon 1st October (a) The Final Fling