WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.
(Ripon, 4 August)
Up 4lb for beating subsequent scorer Gowanharry at Ayr and lost little in defeat behind speedy Silvanus. Caught wide, Rural Celebration briefly struck the front a furlong out but the lack of cover earlier in the race probably took its toll. The ground was on the soft side of good when she scored at Ayr and David O'Meara can find her another opening under similar conditions.
(Pontefract, 4 August)
Has been most consistent for Ollie Pears since smashing his rivals to bits at Beverley earlier in the season and Naoise didn't enjoy the rub of the green in this six-furlong contest. Held up well off the pace under restraint, Naoise never had the ghost of a chance until staying on strongly into fourth behind prominently-ridden Secret Glance. Beaten under two lengths, he can pick up the pieces around the northern circuit.
(Haydock, 7 August)
Did most of the donkey work until swept aside by odds-on powerhouse Dawn Missile but Beau Knight didn't throw in the towel when headed over a furlong out. William Jarvis should find a race for his lightly-campaigned three-year-old colt off this 72 rating.
(Newmarket, 8 August)
Probably remains just in the grip of the handicapper but Sir Michael Stoute's filly is worth watching when dropping into a seven-furlong event against her own sex. Royal Seal didn't see much daylight when the field bunched up over a furlong out but stayed on into fourth behind impressive Buckstay.
(Lingfield, 8 August)
All at sea around Epsom on his previous start, Milky Way was again found wanting in this all-weather event. Caught wide, Gary Moore's Galileo colt got himself organised too late to run down enterprisingly-ridden Azilian in the short straight. Considering Milky Way scored at Newbury on his sole start as a two-year-old (soft) last October, it would be no surprise to see connections reverting to a more galloping track next time.
(Haydock, 8 August)
Richard Hannon's colt was awarded a 9lb hike for demolishing his rivals at Doncaster a week earlier, but the firmer ground here may have contributed to his third-place finish behind Mustard and Captain Navarre. Well positioned on the heels of the leaders, Putting Green appeared to be hanging fire slightly when switched to throw down his challenge. The Selkirk colt ran very smart Dartmouth to a nose at Sandown back in May and could well defy his mark on an easier surface.
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