Two previous eyecatchers to score for the column were 33-1 winner Muntadab and 1-2 victor Alpha Des Obeaux. Six more eyecatchers to add to your ATR Tracker are now live.

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.


(Newmarket, 19 October)

Hugo Palmer’s colt split Cape Byron and the odds-on favourite Rummani in this 7f maiden, serving notice that he’ll be a handicapper to note next season. Manchego was always to the fore and with stamina in his pedigree this trip would have been his minimum.

(Carlisle, 20 October)

The winner’s circle has been a strict no-go area for Harry The Viking in recent years but the 11-year-old retains plenty of enthusiasm. More pertinently, he has fallen to an attractive mark and he kept on well when headed by Ballyben (pair clear) on his first outing in almost six months. There could be a stamina-sapping handicap chase in the locker this winter.

(Cheltenham, 21 October)

Neil Mulholland saddled a Prestbury Park double over the two days but Fingerontheswitch may have been one that got away in this 3m 1f amateur riders’ handicap chase. The six-year-old was just sneaking into the race under a quiet ride when departing at the 10th obstacle. The six-year-old scored off this mark at Doncaster (good) in February and there is more to come.

(Cheltenham, 21 October)

Nibbled at loud prices before the off, Eddiemaurice ran right up to his best when taking fourth spot behind Cliffs Of Dover in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle. John Flint’s five-year-old may have finished a tad closer if his finishing effort had been launched a bit sooner but, nevertheless, this was another progressive performance.

Eddiemaurice was pretty modest on the flat for Richard Guest but had shown an aptitude for hurdles when scoring twice during the month of May, at Ffos Las and Worcester, and is entitled to improve again following a 124-day absence.

(Cheltenham, 21 October)

Thistlecrack’s half-brother continues to make steady if unspectacular progress and this was another stepping stone. West Approach was anchored in rear by Aidan Coleman and still had plenty to do rounding the home bend, with winner Wholestone getting first run. Only half a length separated them at the line and considering West Approach chased home Unowhatimeanharry on heavy ground at Exeter in February, the track may have been riding quick enough for the six-year-old.

(Ayr, 24 October)

Usurped morning market leader Spiritofthegames as favourite to land this maiden hurdle but found Dan Skelton’s gelding too strong between the last two flights. Progress Drive, an Ayr bumper winner in February, did nothing wrong and possesses the scope to further his career up north.

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