Hamilton Park Racecourse

Address:
Racecourse Office, Bothwell Road, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, ML3 0DW - Map & Directions
Telephone:
01698 283806
Hamilton Park Racecourse
Hamilton Park Racecourse (Scott Cormie / geograph.org.uk)

Hamilton Park racecourse is situated in Hamilton, Scotland just a few miles south of Glasgow. Racing has been staged in Hamilton since 1782 but did not begin at the current course until 1926. In 1947, Hamilton became the first British racecourse to host an evening fixture, whilst in 1971 it was also the first British course to stage a morning meeting. The track is owned by the Hamilton Park Trust, which puts almost all profits back into the maintenance and future development of the course.

Customers visiting Hamilton by car should leave the M74 at Junction 5, take the Hamilton exit and follow the brown signs showing directions to the racecourse. The closest train station to the course is Hamilton West, which is well served by regular trains from Glasgow, with the station just a 15 minute walk from the course, making access by public transport simple and pain-free.

Ticket Prices

There is just one price for entry to race days, depending on the meeting. Premier Super Six Nights in 2014 cost £17, whilst themed meetings are priced at just £12. Under-18s are allowed entry free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult.

For disabled customers, there are specialised toilets and lifts available in all enclosures, whilst guide dogs are allowed in to help those that require them. Free entry is allowed to full time disabled carers who are able to produce adequate identification. There are also designated parking spaces available for disabled badge holders.

The Course

Hamilton Flat Racecourse Map

The south Glasgow venue Hamilton Park only hosts flat races, doing so on 18 race days a year, with the racing season there running from May to October. It is an undulating track comprising of a right-handed loop connected to a regular 5½f straight track. A tiny chute connected to the straight allows for sprints 6f in length to take place without requiring any turning.

Sprinters should be grateful for the chute as it means steering clear of Hamilton’s sole bend. It’s a corner unlike many others as it takes horses back in the direction they came from. Very sharp in nature, it’s also an undulating turn too so plenty of balance is required to take it smoothly. Once that’s taken care of, horses make their way downhill before approaching a pronounced hollow around three furlongs out. From this point on, it’s a steep climb to the line, a gruelling finish for anyone making the mistake off setting off too soon.

Ground Makes the Difference in Sprints

When it comes to draw bias at Hamilton, it’s only really something to consider in muddier conditions. On good ground or better, there’s nothing statistically significant to report, suggesting that it is the drainage here that is the biggest factor. That’s not too surprising given the unusual layout at Hamilton.

Unless the going is very tough, high and middle stalls have fared a little better but not really enough that it should factor into your decision making when placing any bets. However, when looking at races run on good to soft or worse though, high drawn runners appear to have a significant advantage. In five and six furlong races, outside runners had an impact factor of 1.30, as opposed to 0.79 for low drawn runners and 0.75 for mid. Essentially this metric means they are winning far more than their ‘fair’ share of races.

There’s an easy explanation as to why this is the case and that is simply that the ground is a little less testing out wide. You’ll often see jockeys head to the far rail as a result and, of course, those starting nearest to it already find themselves with less sideways travelling. Given the toughness of the uphill climb to the line, even mildly firmer conditions underfoot can make all the difference as horses sprint towards the line.

Bias Reverses Further Out

We’ve talked about how horses benefit from a high stall number in sprints but the opposite is true for races that begin close to the big right-handed loop. For obvious and unsurprising reasons, being close to the rail is the place to be around the sharp turn and those that start closest to it outperform their rivals.

Once again, looking at races with eight or more runners between September 2009 and August 2019, we can see that those low drawn had a winning rate 50% higher than those on the outside. In races 1m or 1m 1f long, our findings tell us that a draw in the first five stalls is the optimal place to be so horses not drawn well will really need to perform superbly to get involved at the finish.

Major Meetings at Hamilton Park

Blurred Horses & Jockeys

Hamilton Park racecourse is well known for hosting music-themed race nights with well-known artists, including the likes of Westlife, Olly Murs, JLS and Tom Jones, performing in recent years. The most famous race run each year at Hamilton is without doubt the Glasgow Stakes.

Measuring at 1m3f in length, the stakes is run each July and has a prize purse of approximately £40,000. It was previously run at York and was used as a trial for the Epsom Derby, before it was transferred to Hamilton Park in 2006. Another big race at Hamilton is the Lanark Silver Bell. It was run at Lanark until 1977 when it ceased annual competition, however, it was restored and continued at Hamilton as of 2008.

Dining and Hospitality

Hamilton Park
Hamilton Park (Roger May / geograph.org.uk)

There are 19 function suites to choose from for private hospitality at Hamilton, with the staff there priding themselves on flawless service and exceptional quality, making sure customers get their money’s worth and have an enjoyable experience.

Use of a VIP box starts from just £102 + VAT per person, making it one of the more reasonable corporate options in the country.

Map

Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches