Fuller’s Motown & Soul Night at Newbury on Thursday

The second of the Thursday Nights Live series takes place at Newbury Racecourse this Thursday, July 6, with Fuller’s Motown & Soul Night.

A seven-race card takes place between 5.55pm and 9.05pm. After racing, racegoers can party the night away to some classic soul tunes and crowd favourites from the Soul City Renegades.

Preceding the card at 5.20pm is the George Frewer Memorial Race Charity Race, which is run in aid of two charities – Ufton Court Educational Trust and Racing Welfare. Ufton Court Educational Trust is a charity working to raise the aspiration and attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds while Racing Welfare offers professional guidance and practical help to stud, stable and support staff in racing.

The feature contest of the evening is the £15,000 Lillemor Penser Silver Bar Handicap (7.30pm, nine runners) over a mile and a half for three-year-olds. Scarlet Dragon captured the corresponding contest 12 months ago and went on to capture valuable contests at Newmarket and York later in the season.

The combination of owner Henry Ponsonby, trainer Eve Johnson Houghton and jockey Tom Marquand, successful with Scarlet Dragon in 2016, are represented on Thursday by top-weight On To Victory (9st 13lb), who will be bidding to defy a 6lb penalty having captured the Bibury Gold Cup by eight lengths over the same distance at Salisbury on June 28.

On To Victory’s eight opponents include Duke Of Bronte (Rod Millman/Oisin Murphy, 9st 1lb). The son of Mount Nelson already has a victory on the board at Newbury in 2017, having caused a 100/1 upset when taking a mile maiden on April 22. He returned to Newbury when a staying-on fifth in the valuable Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap over 10 furlongs on May 20 and ran another good race last time out at Goodwood on June 16, when running on to be fourth in a mile and a half handicap.

Millman, who is based in Devon, said today: “Duke Of Bronte was caught out by the slow place last time at Goodwood but Newbury suits him.

“His win at Newbury earlier in the season was a bit of a surprise. We thought that he was a good horse but felt that the mile would be a bit short. It was quite fast ground that day and he should be fine on similar going again.

“Duke Of Bronte’s run in the London Gold Cup is very strong form – he was one of the few horses that got into the race from a bit further back.

“I train his half-sister Taws, who didn’t come into her own until she raced over a mile and a half and went on to finish second in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot. I thought the same would be true of Duke Of Bronte, but he has a bit more class.

“He is still a shell of a horse and we won’t see the best of him until next year but I think he will run a good race.”

Other leading contenders include Godolphin’s Cross Step (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby, 9st 5lb), successful in a turf maiden at Lingfield last time out, Yarmouth maiden scorer The Grand Visir (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave, 9st 5lb), dual All-Weather winner Melting Dew (Sir Michael Stoute/Ryan Moore, 9st 3lb) plus Special Relation (Hughie Morrison/Jim Crowley, 9st 1lb), successful in a Pontefract maiden on his latest outing.

The main supporting action on Thursday comes from the £8,000 Fuller’s London Pride Novice Race over six furlongs (7.00pm, nine runners) and the £9,250 Seafarers EBF Stallions Fillies Handicap over six furlongs (8.05pm, 12 runners).

The gates open at 4.00pm on Thursday, July 6.

Following Fuller’s Motown and Soul Night, Thursday Nights Live continues with Newbury Night (Thursday, July 13) and #ThrowbackThursday Disco (Thursday, July 27).