The 2020 Scottish Steward’s Cup Handicap takes place at Hamilton Racecourse on Thursday 16 July. A smaller than average field of 10 runners is set to go to post, and it’s worth noting a high draw has been an advantage in recent renewals.
In-form trainer Mark Johnston has landed a few gambles this week and it will be interesting to see whether the money comes for either of his two runners. Johnston last won the Scottish Steward’s Cup handicap with an improving 3-year-old and Meeras is in the same mold. He was beaten off the same mark last time, but this may be a weaker contest.
However, it would be no surprise to see the money come for Johnston’s other runner Monoski. He contested several group races last season and, after three defeats in handicaps this season, his mark has been dropped 10lb.
Cold Stare is now rated 1lb below his last winning mark but, as that win came on a flat track on heavy ground, he may have to raise his game at this stiff uphill course on quicker ground.
It was soft last year when top-weight Air Raid won the 2019 Scottish Steward’s Cup Handicap off a mark of 95. He’s on a mark of 97 this year but that may not be enough to stop him to adding to his record of three wins from three runs at Hamilton, with his trainer Jedd O’Keefe already having banged in a couple of winners this week.
Our Scottish Steward’s Cup Handicap tip is George Bowen, who was rated 100 when winning the 2018 edition. Typically, of an establish handicap sprinter, he comes in and out of form but he’s now down to a mark of 86. But he ran on well to be second last time and looks to have been targeted at this race for a while off what is a very winnable mark. He looks excellent each-way value at 5/1 (6.00) or bigger.
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