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.
KASBAH CAN ROCK WHEN ATTACKING OFF A STRONG GALLOP
(Taunton, 11 January)
Scored on his bumper debut at Southwell in November before stepping up in class at Ascot when finishing a staying on fourth to Western Ryder.
Tom Lacey gave Agamemmon his hurdles debut in this fairly hot contest won by Bags Groove and the five-year-old just missed out on a place.
Once again, he was doing his best work at the finish and looks a stayer in the making.
(Hereford, 11 January)
Davy Russell was an interesting booking by Phil Kirby and the senior Irish jockey gave the eight-year-old a cracking ride to take the measure of Bryden Boy (pair clear) in this extended 3m 1f handicap hurdle.
The runner-up came out five days later to hose up at Ayr and it is worth noting that versatile Courtdown Oscar beat last Saturday’s Betfred Classic winner One For Arthur on heavy ground over fences at Carlisle in February. Stamina is clearly no problem.
(Lingfield, 14 January)
Amanda Perrett's sprinter seems to enjoy it around these tight turns and did well to finish as close as second to Jordan Sport after a tardy start.
Kasbah made his run up the far rail and built on his third to Gracious John here in early December, hinting that his turn might be close at hand.
Previously a winner at Dundalk and Wolverhampton for Johnny Murtagh, Kasbah is probably best attacking late off a strong gallop.
(Kempton, 14 January)
Sent off favourite for the 32Red Lanzarote Hurdle on the strength of a previous course and distance success on Boxing Day, but his supporters were licking their wounds as he failed to get competitive.
In hindsight, this was quite a tall order for a five-year-old having only his fourth career start over hurdles and Doesyourdogbite eventually stayed on into sixth spot.
Jonjo O’Neill will probably freshen him up for another tilt at a decent handicap later in the season.
(Wolverhampton, 14 January)
Trainer George Baker elected to hand the mount on his veteran miler to a rookie rider and the combination never threatened, finishing sixth of the eight runners behind gutsy winner Sands Chorus.
Jack's Revenge is a real in-and-out performer these days but did manage to get his head in front at Epsom in September off 84, so his all-weather rating of 80 may be workable under stronger handling.
(Plumpton, 16 January)
Quite a smart bumper horse, recording victories in that sphere at Perth, Chepstow and Kempton before finishing in midfield behind Moon Racer in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.
Therefore, it has been painful watching him struggle over hurdles and Peter Bowen reached for a visor in a bid to galvanise the gelding.
It appeared to have the desired effect as Ghost River enjoyed himself bowling along up front and he had most of his rivals in trouble before strong-travelling Kid Kalanisi pounced at the final flight.
Ghost River goes well in the mud and looks attractively treated if able to back this up.
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