By Gordon Brown
SANDS OF MALI, a 28-1 winner of the Group 1 Sprint on Champions Day last year, heads a quality line-up declared for the feature race at Hamilton Park on Thursday.
The Richard Fahey-trained speedster, who holds an entry in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot later this month, faces five rivals in the British Stallion Studs Clyde EBF Conditions Stakes over 6f.
Donjuan Triumphant, third to Sands Of Mali at Ascot last October, heads the opposition as Andrew Balding bids to uphold his 30 per cent strike-rate (7-23) at the Lanarkshire track – his best run-to-win ratio record at any racecourse in Britain.
Brando, trained by Kevin Ryan and who won his maiden over course and distance in 2015, has since gone on to land the Ayr Gold Cup and Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville.
Lomu, named after the late All Black rugby legend Jonah Lomu, represents reigning top Hamilton Park trainer Keith Dalgleish.
The locally-trained raider, reappearing after wind surgery he underwent in January, is unbeaten in two previous visits to the track with his latest success achieved by six lengths last July.
Hamilton Park racing manager Sulekha Varma said: “This race is being run for only the second time in this June slot, having previously taken place in September, and it is wonderful to see another high-class field again this year.
“Last year’s winner, the David Elsworth-trained Sir Dancealot, went on to Group 3 glory in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket, followed that up with a close-up fourth in the July Cup and then completed a Group 2 double in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
“The collection of silverware amongst the horses in the race is quite remarkable and we are thrilled that they will be running at Hamilton Park.”
For more information contact Gordon Brown on 0780 258063 for Scottish Racing.