9/1 winner keeps Carluke trainer Keith Dalgleish at Hamilton Park summit

Keith Dalgleish has trained more winners at Hamilton Park than anyone else since 2013
Keith Dalgleish has trained more winners at Hamilton Park than anyone else since 2013

Prolific Carluke trainer Keith Dalgleish further improved his phenomenal strike rate at Hamilton Park Racecourse on Thursday evening.

Prolific Carluke trainer Keith Dalgleish further improved his phenomenal strike rate at Hamilton Park Racecourse last Thursday evening.

The Belstane Racing Stables handler’s colt Howzer Black upset the 9/1 bookies odds in a four-horse race by impressively winning the 6.30pm second race, one length clear of odds on favourite Axe Axelrod.

“It was not really a surprise that Howzer Black won,” Coldstream-born Dalgleish (35) told the Carluke Gazette.

“We didn’t know what the favourite had done because it had never run before. Whereas Howzer had finished second at Hamilton the week before so it wasn’t a shock he won this time.”

Dalgleish’s latest success at Hamilton came as no surprise, given it was his 60th winner from 469 runners at the Lanarkshire venue since 2013.

This put him at the very top of the Leading Trainers list at Hamilton Park over the past five years, with more wins over that time period than any other handler.

“Hamilton is our local track so we have more runners there than anybody,” Dalgleish said. “We probably have the upper hand because we are not travelling as far as anybody else.

“Many of our owners enjoy going to Hamilton so we target winning there.”

Ironically, the man in second place on the winning trainers list at Hamilton since 2013 – Mark Johnston – employed Dalgleish as an apprentice jockey during his riding career in the early 2000s.

“Mark is a fantastic trainer and a great person,” Dalgleish added. “He was really good to me when I was young.

“The years he gave me riding (2000 to 2004) have probably put me in the position I’m in today.”

Dalgleish – who rode 300 winners – ultimately quit as a jockey at the age of 21 due to the problems of being six feet tall and weighing 14 stones.

He was always likely to be fighting a losing battle with his weight as a jockey.

Eventually, the daily grind of dieting, saunas, hot baths and sweating at every opportunity got the better of him.

After ‘retiring’ he briefly tried life as a jump jockey and then began breaking horses for Dandy Nicholls until he went to Carluke as assistant to Noel Wilson. When Wilson departed for Yorkshire, the yard’s owner Gordon McDowell had no hesitation in promoting Dalgleish in 2011.

Dalgleish has excelled, most recently training over 100 winners in 2017 and already recording over 30 victories this year.

“It’s grand at the moment,” he added. “It was a slow start with the cold snap we had in March, but we are back in the groove.

“It’s been fantastic again this season.”