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.
WOLFTRAP CAN STRIKE WHEN RAINS COMEMILROW ATR Tracker
(Wetherby, 28 October)
Dr Richard Newlands' gelding, the only three-year-old in the line-up, was easy to back in the face of sustained support for market leader Today Please (third). It was no surprise to see stout stayer Robinshill setting out to make this a stiff test and although Milrow made a gallant attempt to cut into his lead up the straight, he had to settle for second.
Milrow probably stepped up again on the form of his 16-length romp at Perth in September and he is currently in good heart.CLUBLAND ATR Tracker
(Newcastle, 28 October)
Has been a grand servant over the years for Roy Bowring but has now switched to Garry Moss. The seven-year-old has been in the doldrums in recent months but this was more encouraging, with Clubland keeping on into fourth spot behind in-form Rural Celebration.
His draw in stall two meant he raced slightly away from the main action and his new handler will doubtless be looking at Southwell's programme book for course specialist Clubland.TOP NOTCH ATR Tracker
(Uttoxeter, 28 October)
Nicky Henderson’s classy hurdler made a pleasing chasing debut, jumping soundly in third behind useful Charbel. Good enough to finish fifth to Annie Power in the Stan James Champion Hurdle, Top Notch would have preferred the ground a good bit softer and should make up into a serious Arkle Trophy contender as the season unfolds.WOLFTRAP ATR Tracker
(Ascot, 29 October)
His form had shown a sharp upward curve following a switch to Philip Hobbs, so Wolftrap's fifth place behind top weight Miss Estela was slightly disappointing. With the track riding very slick, Wolftrap could never engage a proper rhythm and dropped out last after a couple of sloppy jumps.
To his credit, Wolftrap worked his way onto the heels of the leaders rounding the home bend but another stuttering jump at the penultimate flight put paid to his chance. Previously a winner in the mud, the seven-year-old may be seen to better effect on more suitable winter ground.
A winner on soft ground at Catterick on the flat, Nicky Richards' four-year-old met a potentially smart northern hurdling recruit in Master Of Finance but still comfortably accounted for the rest of the field.
Strait Of Magellan had previously finished a promising runner-up to Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Southport at Market Rasen a fortnight earlier and is one to keep onside when sent handicapping.MOSCATO ATR Tracker
(Ascot, 29 October)
Made a solid start over hurdles for Oliver Sherwood, staying on in third without ever threatening Cultivator. Fourth in the Northumberland Plate (off a 94 rating) when trained by Sir Mark Prescott, Moscato will stay further than this two-mile trip and should be sharper for this first outing in 94 days.
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