HAMILTON Park’s 2011 season is off and running this Sunday with Cancer Research UK Family Day, marking the start of five months of quality flat racing and entertainment.
The traditional season opener, a hugely popular event for families during the May bank holiday weekend, offers the added bonus of free entry for all accompanied under-16s.
As well as a seven-race card, the afternoon fixture features a host of complimentary fun and games for kids such as fairground rides, laserquest, paintball, and facepainters.
The anticipated large opening day crowd will also be given an intriguing insight into the inner workings of a racehorse using graphic imagery safely painted onto a live horse by equine anatomists.
There will, of course, be fundraising activities throughout the day for Cancer Research UK – including a fancy dress race on the track by some of the charity’s volunteers.
The countdown to the 18-fixture season ends this Sunday at 2.30pm when the first race of 2011 gets underway and Chief Executive Vivien Kyles can’t wait for it to begin.
She said: “This Sunday marks the end of months of hard work, planning and anticipation and everyone at Hamilton Park is tremendously excited by the prospect of the 18 meetings over the next five months. We feel we have a really exciting fixture list in place and, with our 50 per cent boost in prize money contributions this year, are aiming to attract high calibre runners from across the UK to compete at Hamilton Park.
“Cancer Research UK Family Day is now well established as one of our standout fixtures and allows everyone connected with the racecourse to support a most worthy charity which carries out so much vital work. It is a real family occasion and we are looking forward to seeing a mix of old friends and new faces to help us get 2011 off to a winning start.”
The seven-race card has two tote-sponsored feature races and will also include the Alex Fergusson Memorial, with Hamilton Park paying tribute to its former award-winning groundskeeper after the Ayrshire man lost his three-year battle with cancer in December.
Joining Hamilton Park in 1985, Alex was employed as the track’s head-groundsman before retiring in 2003. Under his leadership, Hamilton Park’s groundstaff team won the prestigious Neil Wyatt Groundstaff Award in both 1997 and 2002.
Hazel Peplinski, Hamilton Park clerk of the course, said: “The racecourse owes Alex a huge debt of gratitude for the power of work he put into improving not just the track itself but also the grounds, with manicured lawns, flowerbeds and woodland making it into a real ‘Park’. Alex was a highly respected individual within the racing community and it is only fitting that we honour him at the opening fixture of our 2011 season.”
Sunday’s season opener is the first of three meetings in May with Irish Night (May 6) and Braveheart Night (May 13) to follow.
In advance of the new season, the racecourse’s management team has also been busy building on the success of last year’s JLS gig by organising two stand-alone concerts in July. The first, on Friday 22 July, will see hot new boyband, The Wanted, take to the stage before multi-platinum superstars, Westlife, headline the second concert the following night, Saturday 23 July.
The first race on Sunday’s season opener will commence at 2.30pm with gates open from 12.30pm. Tickets for the meeting and for the rest of the season – including the stand alone concerts – are available via the Hamilton Park website – www.hamilton-park.co.uk – or by calling the racecourse on 01698 283806.
The full seven-race card this Sunday is as follows:
2:30 totepool Maiden Stakes – Class 5 with prize money of £5,000
3:05 totepool Tangerine Trees Conditions Stakes – Class 3 with prize money of £12,000
3:40 Alex Fergusson Memorial Handicap – Class 5 with prize money of £4,500
4:15 totepool Buttonhook Handicap – Class 3 with prize money of £12,000
4:50 Live Equine Anatomy Here Today Handicap – Class 5 with prize money of £4,500
5:25 Cancer Research Claiming Stakes – Class 6 with prize money of £3,000
5:55 Racing UK On Sky 432 Handicap – Class 6 with prize money of £3,000
For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org
Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of Hamilton Park Racecourse.
For more information contact Brian Welsh or Sharon Mars
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