WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every Tuesday form expert Alan Thomson pinpoints horses primed to strike in the next few weeks, if not days. Remember, you can add Alan's weekly updates to your ATR Tracker.
OTTONIAN ONE TO KEEP ONSIDE
(Haydock, 14 June)
Charlie Appleby’s son of Dubawi made it two wins from two starts, following up his Thirsk maiden victory with a smooth performance over this longer 1m 6f trip. Ottonian made light work of his handicap mark of 80, readily drawing clear of pacesetting Duke’s Girl in the manner of a horse going places. Clearly at home on this softened surface, Ottonian can remain one step ahead of the assessor.
(Newbury, 15 June)
Up 5lb for her York victory at the end of May and Sir Michael Stoute’s filly acquitted herself well. Facing a strong headwind, Ryan Moore was intent on finding some cover and Ebbesbourne had a lot of running to do from the three furlong pole.
She doesn’t do anything quickly but was just becoming competitive when impeded over a furlong out. The three-year-old was doing her best work at the finish and although no match for Elas Ruby on this occasion, she is going forward.
(York, 17 June)
Not straightforward and wears blinkers for a reason, but his latent talent must surely come to the fore before too much longer. Mazyoun has only one win against his name, a maiden at Newcastle, but Hugo Palmer’s three-year-old keeps running well without much luck.
The cards didn’t fall kindly once again, with Josephine Gordon burying him deep in this 18-runner handicap won by Viscount Barfield. Mazyoun had nowhere to go until the race had effectively been put to bed, but ran on into fifth spot. Third in last year’s totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar, Mazyoun is worth persevering with in these big-field handicaps.
(York, 17 June)
Back in her comfort zone after an abortive attempt to secure some black type in the Group 3 at Lingfield won by Mix And Mingle. Richard Kingscote had to display the patience of a saint after slightly missing the kick and shuffled back, but Eartha Kitt proved a very willing partner when switched as she scythed down her rivals with a devastating finishing kick.
Tom Dascombe’s filly responded well to the fitting of cheek-pieces and can build on this handicap success.
(Nottingham, 19 June)
Very much at home on this quick ground, Whitkirk scored with complete authority, despite pulling like a locomotive in the early stages. Jack Garritty’s mount soon tugged himself to the front but his rider must have been relieved when another rival gave him a lead.
Whitkirk settled better and, still travelling strongly, eased to the front over a furlong out. This was modest fare but Jedd O’Keefe will be keen to strike while the iron is hot.
TAI HANG DRAGON
(Salisbury, 19 June)
Richard Hannon’s filly should have finished a good deal closer than fourth in this 7f Class 5 handicap. Drawn widest of all, Tai Hang Dragon was restrained and manoeuvred to the rail. Pat Dobbs still had plenty of horse under him but crucially the door closed when he went to make his move over a furlong out.
Tai Hang Dragon was beaten just over two lengths and this dual winner from eight starts is worth a good look next time in similar grade.
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