Hamilton Racecourse

Hamilton Racecourse

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Key Characteristics

Hamilton Park Racecourse is situated  ten miles south of Glasgow in Scotland. Horseracing first took place in Hamilton in 1782, however it wasn’t until 1926 that the current site was first used. On 18th July 1947 Hamilton Park became the first racecourse in Britain to stage evening racing and the course is still known for the fabulous atmosphere at its summer evening fixtures. Hamilton racecourse is sometimes called the Goodwood of the North as the two courses have a similar “buttonhook” layout with right-handed loop at the bottom and a stiff uphill straight.

Hamilton Park is a very undulating course. Over the straight 5 & 6 furlong course the start is steeply downhill to the 3 furlong pole when it starts to rise steeply to the finish levelling out in the last 100 yards. To look at it is like going down into a valley and then back up the other side.

The effect is that in quite a few sprints they go off very quickly downhill and then come back to the field. Good jockeys can get out in front, stack them up a bit and then kick on from the 2 furlong pole – making all.

The “button hook” has some sharp bends so it is important to try bag the rail so as not to get pushed wide. Once again good jockeys can control the pace of the race from the front leaving enough in the tank for the stiff last 3 furlongs.


Draw Bias & Pace Analysis

It is often said that the place to be at Hamilton in the sprints is on the stand side rail (drawn high) however there are several complicating factors:

  1. The pace of the race is more important than the draw
  2. They move the stall from up against the rail to the middle to preserve the ground
  3. The going makes a big difference with low numbers generally favoured in soft going as the ground is generally better on the far rail.

So over the sprint course look for –

  • Is there an obvious front runner (just one as if there are more than one they could cut each others throats)?
  • Has your horse got course form or has it got form over a slightly longer distance than today (Hamilton takes stamina)?
  • Has your jockey got a good strike rate at the track (see below)?

Over the 1 mile distance there is a clear bias towards horses draw low as they are more likely to bag the rail.

Hamilton seems to have a bit of a pace bias favouring front runners. In terms of the individual distances Hamilton ranks :

5 Furlongs – 9th out of 31 courses

6 Furlongs – 11th out of 27 courses

8 Furlongs – 12th out of 25 courses

The stats indicate it is very difficult for a horses who gets outpaced and is at the back to come over the top late in 5 furlong races.

“It’s vital in distance races at Hamilton that you get your mount to settle early on, otherwise you’ll be going far too quick down the hill, long before you get to the top loop. Balance is all-important for any horse running there, which means you get a few track specialists. The steep run down to the bottom of the dip can cause jockeys to start racing too early and, because it’s a long way home from there, they can be walking from the two to the one pole. There’s very little draw bias in sprint races”. Jason Weaver.

Trainers & Jockeys

Tim Easterby, Kevin Ryan, J P Shanahan, David O’Meara, Michael Dodds, Mark Johnston, Keth Dalgleish and Richard Fahey

Daniel Tudhope, Jamie Gormley, Tony Hamilton, Joe Fanning, P J McDonald, Graham Lee and Conor Beasley.

Hamilton Racecourse - The Track


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