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.
NICEOFYOUTOTELLME ATR Tracker
(Chelmsford, 28 October)
With a purse of more than £32,000 to the winner, it was no surprise to see some smart sorts lining up for this 10-furlong contest. The handicapper is slowly easing his grip on Niceofyoutotellme and Ralph Beckett's gelding deserved better than his finishing position (8th) as he was trapped down on the rail early in the straight, losing all possible chance. A Kempton winner in the past, he could pick up a nice prize this winter.
BIG WHISKEY ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 29 October)
Racing off his highest mark (86), John Best's gelding could never lay a glove on impressive winner Crazy Chic but was set an impossible task after being dropped out from his wide draw. Big Whiskey deserves credit for staying on strongly into fifth and, a previous Kempton winner, he remains of interest in this kind of form.
CHARBEL ATR Tracker
(Stratford, 29 October)
A dual bumper winner in Ireland, at Leopardstown and Limerick, Charbel has joined Kim Bailey and he justified favouritism on his hurdling debut in workmanlike rather than spectacular fashion. He was a shade too keen for his own good in the early stages and this tight circuit didn't play to his strengths. However, Charbel clearly has an engine and his fourth to Bellshill in the big Punchestown bumper in April marks him down as one to follow.
MISSY TATA ATR Tracker
(Down Royal, 31 October)
Simon Munir has plundered France for several years in search of talented recruits and Missy Tata certainly falls into that category. Peace And Co gave his owner a big payday in last season's JCB Triumph Hurdle and Missy Tata looks like another youngster capable of competing at a high level after demolishing her three-year-old rivals with a ruthless combination of slick hurdling and acceleration.
DE VOUS A MOI ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 31 October)
Took a couple of runs to find his feet on arrival from France but Sue Smith soon found the key to him, recording soft-ground victories at Uttoxeter and Catterick last February/March. The seven-year-old may just have needed the run after a 218-day absence when outpointed over the last fence by Back To Bracka, and De Vous A Moi would probably have preferred a bit more cut underfoot.
AVIDITY ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 31 October)
Borders trainer James Ewart saddled the first two home in this handicap hurdle, with Avidity just outmatched by Aristo Du Plessis on his first start since May. Avidity was a steady improver last season and the six-year-old's graph is still rising judged on this effort. Favourite Glingerburn, a classy sort in the north, was probably just feeling the pinch when falling and this appeared a decent contest.
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