HISTORY will be brought to life at Hamilton Park Racecourse this Friday (24 August) when the venue hosts the iconic Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Racenight.
Now in the fourth year at Hamilton Park, riders in the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap are competing for one of the oldest sporting prizes in existence.
Says a spokesperson: “Legend has it that the original trophy was presented as a gift to the people of Lanark by King William ‘The Lion’ in 1165.”
This year, the racecourse will unveil a new Silver Bell Trophy to complement the original piece, handcrafted by Edinburgh jewellers and warrant holders to Her Majesty the Queen, Hamilton & Inches.
Completed after a detailed six-month design process, the 100 per cent sterling silver trophy reflects many of the hallmarks of the original artefact, which has now become too valuable to be presented to winners.
After last year’s decision by Ladbrokes to sponsor the fixture for the next three seasons, the Hamilton Park team decided to make a new trophy with a refreshed contemporary feel, to sit alongside the ancient relic.
The original trophy, believed to be almost 850 years-old, will still be on display to race-goers who can marvel over the historic symbolism it represents.
Owners and trainers are also eagerly anticipating the Super Six fixture, keen to have a record of their victory etched into the first winner’s shield to hang from the trophy, in keeping with one of the features from the original piece of silverware.
There will be a total of six races being held on the night with one of the evening’s highlights, the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap getting underway at 7.40pm, with an impressive prize pot of £24,000.
Aside from an action-packed itinerary of racing, a Lady Gaga and Queen tribute act will also take to the stage to the whirl punters into a frenzy after the racing finishes.
Vivien Kyles, chief executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse, said: “We are immensely proud to be unveiling a new Silver Bell Trophy in front of a large audience for one of the most important fixtures of the season.
“The trophy is steeped in history, representing such a great part of Lanarkshire’s rich and vibrant heritage, which was the main motivation behind working to preserve its legacy for many generations to come.
“The trophy’s creation process was an intensive one, ensuring we paid particular attention to many of the trophy’s original features while adding some contemporary flair.
“Overall, the evening is sure to be an enjoyable one, as there is so much great racing and entertainment on offer to race-goers, with the dance floor set to be bustling as visitors strut their stuff at our final night time fixture of the season and the last of our immensely popular Super Six series.”
Frank Gunning, chair of the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council said: “Everyone in Lanark is hugely pleased at the continued success of the meeting and the Lanark Silver Bell Handicap.
“Ladbrokes’ decision to sponsor the event for three years serves to reinforce this, and we are grateful to Hamilton Park Racecourse for investing towards the future of the trophy, enshrining its legacy for many years.
“It’s a great idea to allow riders to celebrate with the new trophy after winning the race, as well as becoming an eternal part of the Silver Bell’s story when their name is scribed into a winning shield.”
Gates for the race meeting will open at 3.35pm and tickets priced are available from £15.
For more information about Hamilton Park Racecourse or to purchase advanced tickets, please visit www.hamilton-park.co.uk.
5:35 Racing UK Nursery
6:05 Variety Club Handicap
6:35 Download The Ladbrokes Mobile App Handicap
7:05 Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell (Handicap)
7:40 Ladbrokes Mobile Text Mobile To 86131 Open Maiden Stakes
8:10 hamilton-park.co.uk Handicap
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