NSPCC Charity Race Evening & Comedy Night brings curtain down on Newbury’s Thursday Nights

Newbury’s Thursday Nights series concludes this week with NSPCC Charity Race Evening & Comedy Night on July 23.

An eight-race programme, including one contest for Purebred Arabians, will be followed by a live comedy show in the Crafty Filly, featuring performances from leading local comedians Dave Thompson and Tony Cowards.

Rod Millman enjoyed his biggest success of the season so far with Master Carpenter in the John Smith’s Cup at York on July 11 and the Devon handler will be hoping to continue his fine form with four declared runners on the card.

Marcano features in a field of six for the 10-furlong NSPCC Charity Race Evening Handicap (7.05pm). The three-year-old was third behind subsequent Group Two winner Adaay and Dewhurst Stakes runner-up Kodi Bear in a Newbury maiden in May last year but has disappointed since winning a Salisbury maiden a month later.

Millman reported: “Marcano has lost his confidence and we have stepped him back up in trip to enjoy his racing a bit more. He is a very good horse – he wasn’t beaten far by Adaay and Kodi Bear at Newbury last year – and we do think a fair bit of him.

“He has lost his way a little bit and the handicapper has given him a chance. I thought he ran a nice race at Sandown last time and is primed to run a good race. A small field over 10 furlongs should help him as they probably won’t go very fast and he has a turn of foot.”

Millman’s son Pat will be on board Cotton Club in the NSPCC Amateur Riders’ Handicap (5.30pm, 11 runners) over an extended 13 furlongs, while Bukle is set to make his fifth start in the seven-furlong NSPCC Nursery (6.30pm, five runners).

The trainer may also be represented by Dovil’s Duel in the six-furlong NSPCC Handicap (7.40pm, nine runners), if the four-year-old does not take up an alternative engagement at Bath on Wednesday.

Millman added: “I think Cotton Club will stay the trip and my son Pat will be having his first ride back as an amateur. The horse’s downfall was finishing a neck behind Arab Dawn at Goodwood last year because he went up in the handicap accordingly.

“He’s also just lost his way a little bit but he looks like he might be on the verge of a revival.23 July release

“Bukle has been crying out for a trip but this might be a strong race with Welford running for Mark Johnston. Bukle was ready to run very early on this season – he had his first gallop just after Christmas – and we thought he would be OK over five furlongs but he wasn’t really quick enough. He should run a good race but you never really know what you are taking on when it comes to nursery form.

“Dovil’s Duel is declared at Bath on Wednesday and we will see what the ground is like when we get there before deciding to run him there or Newbury. He wore a hood last time but it didn’t work – he is a horse with a lot of ability but a bit quirky.”

Chesham Stakes fifth Force (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) and Kitaaby (Brian Meehan/Paul Hanagan), who was beaten a neck in a Newbury maiden on July 2 (pictured above), feature among a field of 10 for the Bathwick Tyres EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (6.00pm) over six furlongs.

The racing action is concluded by the Al Basti Equiworld Fillies’ Handicap (8.10pm, six runners) and the 12-furlong NSPCC Fillies’ Handicap (8.45pm, 6 runners). The gates open at 4pm.

Newbury has one more evening fixture on Tuesday, August 25, the Betfred Evening & Summer Finale Night.