Richard Gauthier Collection

Hamilton Racecourse

The first evidence of racing in the vicinity of Hamilton Park was on Tuesday 6th August 1782, just outside the town at Chatelherault, when a purse of 50 guineas, contested over 4 mile heats, saw the Duke of Hamilton's Disguise defeat Stanton after just two heats. Full results of this inaugural 2 day meeting are shown below. Within 3 years a three day meeting was staged, although some races were restricted to horses trained north of the border, and it came as no surprise that the Duke of Hamilton was successful. Racing lapsed after the 1793 meeting when only three runners were present, although by 1811 the Royal Caledonian Hunt Club organized a magnificent seven day meeting. In 1887 Sir John Astley, who made his fortune from the whisky trade, began preparing a new course at Hamilton and the inaugural meeting took place on Thursday 12th July 1888 at a course close to Hamilton Palace to the north east of the town. Full results and newspaper extracts for the first meeting on the new course are shown below. Racing ceased yet again in 1907, predominantly because of disputes over betting, and it was left to the racing legend Sir Loftus Bates to mastermind the relaunch after the war. The first two day meeting on the present day course on Bothwell Road was held on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th July 1926 when Sir Loftus was rewarded with a massive crowd. Full details of the opening day on the present day course are shown below. The venue has witnessed a number of firsts; on Friday 18th July 1947 it hosted the first evening meeting, while on Saturday 8th May 1971 it staged the first morning meeting. However, it was in 1973 that the future of racing at Hamilton was made secure when the Hamilton Park Trust was formed. Currently the course hosts 18 fixtures annually.

Tuesday 6th August 1782
The Hamilton 50 Guineas all age Plate over 4 mile heats

1. Disguise, 5 year old owned by the Duke of Hamilton
2. Stanton, aged horse owned by Mr Sousby
3. Unnamed 4 year old bay colt owned by Lord Surrey
4. Blameless, 5 year old owned by Mr Thomson

Wednesday 7th August 1782
Hamilton 50 Guineas Ladies Purse over 4 mile heats
1. Wickham, 6 year old owned by the Duke of Hamilton
2. Unnamed 6 year old grey mare owned by Lord Surrey