Hamish McGonagall has been around the block a few times. The Tim Easterby-trained gelding, a battle hardened sprinter who enjoyed great seasons in 2011 and 2012, graduated from handicap grade to challenge for Europe’s top sprint prizes.
The six-year-old began the 2011 season contesting conditions races, having competed with credit in Group 3 company towards the end of the preceding campaign.
After winning one such race at Musselburgh in April, he was only beaten four and a half lengths in eigth place in the Betfred.com Temple Stakes, the first sprint in the QIPCO British Champions Series, at Haydock Park in May.
On his next start in the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene over five furlongs at Chantilly, France, the gelding finished a close fourth to Whizz Kid.
Having found his feet in higher grade, Hamish McGonagall proceeded to run second in the Group 3 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh and then third to Masamah in a good quality York Listed contest.
He returned to the latter track to register one of the best performances of his career so far on August 19, 2011, when runner-up to Margot Did in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes over five furlongs, the fifth sprint in the QIPCO British Champions Series.
He ended the season with a close third behind Prohibit in the Prix du Petit Couvert (Group 3) at Longchamp in September.
Hamish McGonagall made a pleasing return to action in 2012 with a short-head success in a conditions race at Musselburgh in April, but disappointed at Newmarket in the Group 3 Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes on May 5.
He ran another good race in the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene, finishing third, but failed to fire in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19.
A return to York on July 14 saw him bag his second victory of the season.
He performed tamely at Goodwood in the Group 2 Gordon’s King George Stakes on August 3, but ran a season’s best in the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York when finishing third to Ortensia, beaten a length and a half.
Still yet to win a Pattern Race, he signed off for 2012 with another fabulous effort, finishing third, beaten less than a length by Wizz Kid, in the Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on October 7, but was well down the field on his 2013 reappearance at Musselburgh in March and was disqualified after finishing sixth in the Group 2 Prix Du Gros-Chene France for cutting across too soon after the starting stalls opened.
He ran a fine race in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, race five in the Sprint division, when just over a length behind the winner, Jwala, in fourth place. That was his last run of the season and he now been retired.