Quality fields as Hamilton stages its richest raceday of the year

George Bowen: bidding for consecutive victories in Hamilton Park’s big race

Hamilton Park Racecourse stages the richest racing of its season tomorrow (Friday, July 19), and Richard Fahey is aiming George Bowen at back-to-back wins in the £34,000 Heineken UK Scottish Stewards’ Cup. The striking grey hit the front in record time in 2018 and is only two pounds higher in the handicap than last year.

The Heineken UK Scottish Stewards’ Cup is always a hot contest and a number of the runners boast course-and-distance form along with George Bowen, including Jedd O’Keeffe’s Air Raid, who has already scored twice over track and trip this season.

Dark Defender will be making his seventh appearance on the Hamilton Park turf . Previous efforts include a second-place finish in this race in 2017 and a win over this trip in August 2018.

Another previous course-and-distance winner, Lomu, finished an eyecatching fourth behind three seasoned, high-class sprinters in the British Stallion Studs Clyde EBF Conditions Stakes at Hamilton in June. Trained only 13 miles from the racecourse by Keith Dalgleish, he led at a blistering pace for much of the race and was only headed in the final furlong.

Laugh A Minute finished third in the 2018 renewal of the same race, 1¼ lengths behind Sir Dancealot, who went on to win Group contests in the same season.

Thirty minutes later, trainer Richard Hannon and owners Middleham Park Racing look to strike for the second consecutive year in the listed British Stallion Studs EBF Glasgow Stakes with Leroy Leroy. The combination won the race in 2018 with Raymond Tusk and also in 2016 with Ventura Storm.

Both Roger Varian and James Tate will be sending runners on the 740-mile round trip from their Newmarket bases, with Varian represented by Mackaar and Tate by the improving Sameem. Varian has a distinguished record at the track and his most notable win was that of Defoe in the 2017 running of this race.

Racing Manager, Sulekha Varma said ,“The Glasgow Stakes has gone from strength to strength in recent years with winners routinely going on to win Group races around the world. It has been particularly pleasing to follow the career of 2017 winner Defoe this summer as he claimed his first Group 1 win at Epsom Downs and followed that by winning the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

"2018 winner Raymond Tusk has given Middleham Park Racing a lot of fun competing across the world, including winning the Group 2 Gran Premio del Jockey Club Italiano in San Siro.

“The Heineken UK Scottish Stewards’ Cup Handicap Stakes is always an exciting and competitive contest and it is great to see a full field declared once again. This is the richest day’s racing in the Hamilton Park season, and I am particularly pleased to see such high-class fields declared.”

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