Eyecatchers (1 September)

Past eyecatchers Polybius (15-2), Landwade Lad (11-2), Ghalib (3-1), Erik The Red (5-2), Carrington (9-4) plus Bleu Astral (6-4) all hit the target last week and form expert Alan Thomson has shortlisted six taking performers from the past seven days.

  • Tuesday 01 September
  • Blog
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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.

(Musselburgh, 27 August)
Desperately unlucky not to land a punch on winning favourite Spring Offensive as Paul Mulrennan's decision to sneak a passage up the far rail backfired when the weakening pacesetters fell into his lap. Green Howard came home in fifth spot, still full of running, and this was another solid effort from Rebecca Bastiman's gelding, re-appearing 12 days after going down in a photo to Polar Forest at Ripon. Green Howard was 4lb higher here but he has scored twice in late August/September in previous seasons, so remains of interest.
(Windsor, 29 August)
Richard Hannon's filly is a bit in-and-out but came home strongly to hunt up the very well handicapped Instill. The ground had turned soft by the time of this final event of the evening but Jersey Jewel seems versatile in that respect as she popped up at 20-1 on a quick surface at Newbury in June.
(Newmarket, 29 August)
Like many each-way investments in 15-runner handicaps Farquhar finished fourth, but Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt is worth another chance when turned out again at HQ. Farquhar landed a 24-runner Newmarket handicap last October and, more recently, chased home Gold Trail in August. His chance here was compromised by a sloppy start and he found himself with too much ground to make up from an isolated wing position on the stands' side when impressive Wadi Al Hattawi kicked for home.
(Newmarket, 29 August)
Has proved something of a disappointment since scoring at Pontefract last September, but this was much more encouraging from Richard Fahey's filly. Abbey Angel was restrained until asked for an effort but then encountered some minor traffic problems when the pace lifted. She stayed on well into fourth behind winner Field Of Fame in what looked a strong handicap (runner-up Uele River is a progressive three-year-old for Henry Candy).
(Beverley, 30 August)
Twice runner-up previously, Donna Graciosa made it third time lucky but there was no fluke about her hard-fought victory. Mark Johnston's three-year-old missed the kick slightly and had to do it the hard way, gradually working her way into contention before hitting the front a furlong out and keeping the favourite, Deep Blue Diamond, at bay close home. There is more to come.
(Yarmouth, 30 August)
Mick Appleby's three-year-old, a galloping type, kicked into overdrive a furlong out but strongly-supported favourite Venus Marina showed more tactical speed to steal first run and hold on. Red Unico, a Catterick winner off his lowly 54 rating at the beginning of the month, is progressing nicely at this modest level.

Alan Thomson's Eyecatchers column is sponsored by SIS - visit www.sis.tv for more information on a range of services for bookmaker and punter.

Eyecatchers (1 September)
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