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.
(Goodwood, 30 July)
Done no favours by her high draw (17) over this slick five furlongs but ran a stormer in third. Stablemate Indescribable clocked a fast figure to score in a bunched finish and this event should not be overlooked by form students. Showstoppa had run Sydney Ruffdiamond close at Ascot only six days' earlier (soft) and is clearly in great nick.
(Nottingham, 30 July)
Only a low-grade stayer for David O'Meara but he is a mildly progressive three-year-old capable of adding to his Pontefract victory in June. Punters piled into Ingleby Hollow, forcing his price down to 11-10, but he proved no match for Alboretta when the chips were down. The pedestrian pace didn't play to Ingleby Hollow's strengths, however, so don't give up on him.
(Goodwood, 31 July)
Hasn't hit the target since scoring on his Musselburgh debut in early May but this was an encouraging first attempt in nursery company, chasing home impressive Belvoir Bay. Quite keen early, Furiant was under restraint and well adrift until switched for his late thrust. Mark Johnston's colt can go one better when encountering a less tactical race.
(Doncaster, 1 August)
Wearing a first-time hood, Mr Quicksilver lived up to his name by showing plenty of dash. Andrew Balding's colt swept to the front three out but had no answer when market leaders Koora (Luca Cumani) and Central Square (Roger Varian) accelerated in the manner of two improving maidens. Mr Quicksilver will be worth noting in handicaps.
(Doncaster, 1 August)
This looked a hot 10-furlong handicap, with Barry Hills's good-looking Elkaayed edging out Roseburg in a cracking finish. With the spotlight falling on the first two, Express Himself's excellent run in third may have gone a little unnoticed. Ed McMahon's gelding travelled strongly before making his effort from off the pace and wasn't knocked about when the writing was on the wall inside the final furlong. Express Himself beat in-form Birdman (now rated 106) at Haydock on faster ground in June and may tackle less demanding company than this in future.
(Ripon, 3 August)
Took a bump as the gates opened for this tight six-furlong handicap and endured a torrid trip down on the rail. Richard Fahey's gelding only saw daylight in the final 100 yards, grabbing third on the line behind Flyman. Right Touch, who was off the course for more than a year before making his return in late May, carried a 6lb penalty for last week's clear-cut Pontefract victory and is worth following when there is some ease underfoot.
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