Historic racing is the focus of Hamilton Park Racecourse’s final Friday evening meeting of the season, and Archi’s Affaire aims to create a historic moment for his connections by becoming the first horse in the modern era to win consecutive Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicaps.
Archi’s Affaire took the £36,000 feature, the richest race of its type in the UK, for owner David Neale and trainer Michael Dods in 2018, seeing off Jabbaar and Theglasgowwarrior. Both of those re-oppose this time while another former winner also returns in the form of Multellie, who took the 2016 contest.
Longer-distance travellers are always worth noting at Hamilton Park and both Andrew Balding and Hughie Morrison send runners from their southern English stables.
Balding’s Lariat has found it difficult to win this season, filling the runner-up spot on four occasions, while Morrison’s Temple Church is likely to appreciate a drop in class. Representing Newmarket, Hugo Palmer’s Paths Of Glory is the most inexperienced runner in the field by some way, but the 4-year-old makes his handicap debut following an odds-on victory at Ffos Las at the start of the month.
Mark Johnston has by far the best record in this race of any trainer and he fields Sapa Inca for China Horse Club. Partnered by Joe Fanning, who rode the 2,500th winner of his career last week and boasts Hamilton Park as his most successful turf track with 178 wins from 1,093 rides, the progressive 3-year-old looks a likely favourite.
Sulekha Varma, Racing Manager at Hamilton Park, said, “Since successfully re-creating the Lanark Silver Bell Handicap in 2008 at Hamilton Park, there have been some significant achievements. Mark Johnston, Britain’s winningmost trainer, has won five out of the 11 races, including breaking the course record in 2009 with the aptly named Record Breaker.”
“2019 marks another competitive renewal of the race and it is pleasing to see horses travelling from all over Great Britain to compete for this historic and prestigious prize.”
Away from the track, DJ George Bowie is performing after racing and the Hamilton Park team will have glowsticks ready for the partygoers. Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo, who performed a DJ set at last year’s Ladies’ Night, will be returning to Hamilton Park as an ambassador and roving reporting for Great British Racing. The reality TV star will interview racegoers and get involved in the evening’s exciting activities.
Gates open at 2.30pm with the racing getting underway at 4.55pm.
For information on fixtures and tickets visit www.hamilton-park.co.uk or call 01698 283806