Scarlet Dragon seeking back-to-back Newbury wins on Thursday when Victoria Pendleton will be riding

The Thursday Nights Live series of evening racing at Newbury Racecourse comes to a close this year with Newbury Night Live on Thursday, July 21.

Newbury Night Live offers a showcase of entertainment from the town of Newbury. Live music from The Soultones and the Newbury Rock Choir will follow the seven-race card, which runs from 5.35pm to 8.45pm.

Family fun will be provided in partnership with Daisy’s Dream, the Berkshire-based charity which responds to the needs of children and families affected by life-threatening illness or bereavement.

Taking centre stage on the seven-race card is the £10,000 Daisy’s Dream Handicap (7.10pm, eight runners) over a mile and a quarter. Heading the weights on 9st 7lb is Scarlet Dragon (Eve Johnson Houghton/Jim Crowley), who is attempting back-to-back wins at Newbury, having taken the Pelican Handicap over two furlongs further on June 30.

Scarlet Dragon is owned by a syndicate organised by Chaddleworth-based Henry Ponsonby, who said today: “Scarlet Dragon wasn’t winning out of turn at Newbury last time out. He was very unlucky at Goodwood and Haydock earlier in the year, so it wasn’t a surprise he won.

“We tried a new trip with him last time, which his pedigree suggested he would get, and he just about got it. I think if it had been run over a mile and a quarter he would have won rather more comfortably as the second was catching him close home.

Scarlet Dragon Release

“The horse is in very good nick. I thought the handicapper was a bit unkind in putting him up five pounds for a short-head win last time out. Having said that, I have always thought he was going to be an 80-90 horse and he will be racing off 84 on Thursday.

“He won’t mind the ground. Tom Marquand, who won on him last time, has been claimed by Richard Hannon but we have Jim Crowley and the horse is very straightforward.”

The main opposition to Scarlet Dragon could be provided by Bedrock (William Haggas/Silvestre De Sousa 9st 5lb), a winner at Haydock Park last month, recent easy Nottingham scorer Ravens Quest (Hughie Morrison/Jimmy Fortune 9st 3lb) and Both Sides (Andrew Balding/David Probert 9st 5lb), who was fifth in the valuable Al Zubarah London Gold Cup over the course and distance on May 14.

The racing action gets underway at 5.35pm with the Visit Newbury Amateur Riders’ Handicap over a mile and five furlongs. Among the eight starters in this race is the Lawney Hill-trained Royal Etiquette, who will be partnered by dual Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

After Thursday evening, Newbury stages one further evening fixture in 2016 with Bathwick Tyres Evening on Tuesday, August 23 (first race 4.40pm).

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