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.
CONSUL DE THAIX COULD BE A FESTIVAL HANDICAP PLOT
I’M A GAME CHANGER
(Southwell, 29 November)
Proving something of an enigma. I’m A Game Changer was clearly showing something at home before his Wincanton bumper debut in April, going off favourite but running out.
Philip Hobbs’s four-year-old showed nothing on his next two starts but he belied his 20-1 SP in this maiden hurdle with an excellent third to hot-pot Sumkindofking and useful Flat recruit Fattsota.
All is not lost if I’m A Game Changer can build on this run.
(Wetherby, 3 December)
Running consistently at this track in recent weeks, posting a close-up third in November and only wilting close home in this two-mile handicap chase won by Apterix.
Maurice Barnes’s eight-year-old stuck on doggedly after kicking for home off the home bend and although lacking a change of gears, Indian Voyage can find a similar contest within his compass up north.
VISION OF BEAUTY
(Wolverhampton, 3 December)
Having her second run in the familiar Middleham Park Racing colours and looks one for handicaps. Living up to her name in the parade ring, Vision Of Beauty is an imposing three-year-old filly and she knew a good bit more from last month’s debut third at Newcastle.
She cut out the donkey work in this 1m 4f maiden, leading until collared over a furlong out by Roger Charlton’s heavily-backed favourite Snobbery.
Keith Dalgleish has the happy knack of placing these types to full advantage.
CONSUL DE THAIX
(Sandown, 3 December)
Snapped up by JP McManus after one run in France and steadily progressing to a decent level.
Consul De Thaix was too immature to do himself full justice in the Triumph Hurdle but he looked more of the finished article in this Listed handicap won by stablemate Brain Power.
After blundering at the first obstacle, Consul De Thaix took a little while to find his feet but a big leap at the final flight meant he landed full of running.
He came home strongly when hitting the Sandown hill and it is not difficult to foretell a handicap plot at one of the big festival meetings.
TEA FOR TWO
(Huntingdon, 4 December)
Produced a cracking performance behind Jossies Hill in the Peterborough Chase over a trip short of his very best.
Tea For Two announced himself on the big stage at Kempton’s Boxing Day fixture when landing the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and he gets on particularly well with Lizzie Kelly.
There was only one semblance of a mistake here in an otherwise sound round of fencing and the seven-year-old can continue his progression throughout the remainder of the season.
SWOOP TO CONQUER
(Huntingdon, 4 December)
Having his third run over hurdles for Nicky Henderson and was never sighted behind Glaring and better-fancied stablemate Burbank in this two-mile novices’ event.
Ridden by 5lb claimer Ned Curtis, Swoop To Conquer was anchored towards the rear and could never get into the race until running on into sixth spot, beaten 20 lengths.
The four-year-old will be of interest in handicaps, probably over a longer trip.
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