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.
LIBRISA BREEZE ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 25 February)
Jeremy Noseda's newcomer looked the part in the parade ring, along with the imposing Abdullah-owned winner Townsville, and they fought out an exciting finish. Librisa Breeze struck for home under Ryan Moore early in the straight and rallied gamely when headed. The attractive grey certainly stayed this mile stoutly.
PUZZLE TIME ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 25 February)
Up 3lb for winning over 10 furlongs here a fortnight earlier, Puzzle Time could manage only seventh spot behind improving The Gay Cavalier in this 1m 3f handicap. However, the five-year-old was a victim of general bunching on the dash to the line and she remains in good nick.
AL MUHEER ATR Tracker
(Southwell, 26 February)
Having his first experience of Fibresand in 116 career starts, Al Muheer looked a totally different animal to the one which has been plying its trade regularly this winter on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton. The 10-year-old was cantering all over his rivals on the home bend and ran out a most emphatic victor from in-form City Of Angkor Wat. The 10-year-old escapes a penalty (apprentice race) and Tom Dascombe will be scouring the Southwell programme book for similar contests. His 7lb claiming rider, Patrick Vaughan, is another plus.
BULLET STREET ATR Tracker
(Ludlow, 26 February)
Went out like a light and was eventually beaten 40 lengths by Gallery Exhibition in this 2m 4f chase. In mitigation, the testing ground almost certainly proved his undoing and Evan Williams' seven-year-old should be a different proposition when encountering a sound surface.
MINELLA ROCCO ATR Tracker
(Newbury, 27 February)
Started long odds-on to supplement his Kempton debut success three weeks earlier and the five-year-old treated market rival Royal Vacation with disdain. Minella Rocco was always travelling on the bridle in the JP McManus colours and will surely develop into a smart chaser down the line.
DROP OUT JOE ATR Tracker
(Doncaster, 28 February)
Charlie Longsdon meant business in the BetBright Grimthorpe Chase by booking Davy Russell for Drop Out Joe and the combination looked a shade unlucky not to collect. A teeth-rattling blunder at a time when Drop Out Joe was taking closer order approaching the home bend cost him dear and the gelding was never going to claw back Wayward Prince's decisive advantage. Drop Out Joe has kept classy company this season, finishing behind the likes of Irish Saint and Kings Palace, and his comfortable debut success as a novice chaser at Carlisle in October came on more yielding turf.
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