Welcome to the attheraces.com Eyecatchers column. Every week Rhys Williams will pinpoint horses primed to strike in the next few weeks, if not days. Remember, you can add Rhys's weekly updates to your ATR Tracker.
GENTLEMAN LOOKS A TRUE PROSPECT
Idoapologise returned to the track after 97 days off at Beverley with a tongue-tie for the first time, and gained his first win of the season. He raced a few lengths behind the leader on the inside through the first half, before making smooth headway into the straight. He eased into second with just under two furlongs to go, and when pushed along he quickened well to hit the front a furlong out. However, he then idled and wandered towards the middle of the track before being straightened up, holding on by half-a-length from Tukhoom.
The ease in which Idoapologise travelled was notable and I think the winning margin significantly underplays his superiority over the field. He’s been upped just 4lb and I expect more improvement when able to get a lead for longer.
Albadri was the outsider of the field in this six-runner Tattersalls Stakes and although never in contention, he showed promise. He raced keenly under restraint at the back of during the first half and was in trouble when the pace quickened three out. He looked uncomfortable going into the dip and was still last with a furlong to go, before staying on strongly under hands and heels on the climb to be beaten 3¼ lengths into fifth. Albadri struggled on the undulating track at Ripon on his previous start, and again the undulations caught him out. The manner in which he finished showed he has potential, and back on a less undulating track, I think he can show his true ability.
Nick Alexander was having his first runners since March at the two-day Perth meeting. One of those was Broadway Joe who was stepping up from 2m to 3m for his handicap debut. He raced keenly towards the back early on and then made headway with a circuit to go. He was still travelling smoothly on the run to four out and after jumping it, but once pushed along turning the final bend he found little.
It may be that Broadway Joe is a weak finisher as he faded quickly when second in a point to point. However, I think it could be that he doesn’t stay three miles and the combination of that, and the trainer having his first runners since March and many running accordingly, resulted in him going from travelling well to having nothing left. Broadway Joe has been dropped 4lb for this, and I think he could surprise in a handicap back at around 2m4f.
Cape Gentleman looked backward in France for Nicolas Clement and idled in front when getting off the mark on his third start, so there was potential for improvement, and he fulfilled that in defeat on his first start for Emmet Mullins at Listowel. Having tracked the leaders, he lost his position going out on the final circuit, but made headway and closed turning into the straight. He was going better than Mt Leinster early in the straight, but once coming under pressure he couldn’t match that rival in the closing stages, beaten five lengths, with 8½ lengths back to the third. This was a promising Irish debut from Cape Gentleman, considering the ground was softer than ideal, and he has a good future as a dual purpose prospect.
Military Mission caught the eye on debut at Sandown when staying on after a slow start and again shaped with promise at Haydock. He was slowly away again and showed signs of inexperience in last through the early stages, but angled out in the home straight, he started to make headway and that progress continued until the last 100 yards where the effort of making such headway took its toll and he finished 3¾ lengths behind the winner in third. This was another encouraging performance from Military Mission. He’s received a rating of 84, giving connections the option of nurseries, but he looks capable of winning a maiden, as long as his slow starting doesn’t become a habit.
Trumble was one of a couple of newcomers in this Chester novice and shaped promisingly after a slow start. He lost many lengths before being pushed to recover and raced a bit keenly in last as the pace steadied. He was still travelling well before being pushed along entering the straight, closing into third, but started to tire and ran green in the closing stages, finishing 3¾ lengths behind the winner in fourth. Given the ground lost at the start on debut against more experienced rivals, this was a promising start, and he looks capable of getting off the mark in similar company.
Bogoss Du Perret has only made it to the track on three occasions in the last two years, the latest of which came after a 203-day absence at Newton Abbot. He raced a shade keenly early but was still travelling well leaving the back in a share of third, before coming under pressure turning the final bend. The early keenness and lack of a recent outing looked to take its toll, and although he was given a crack between the last two hurdles, he was held together late on as he tired into fifth. This was an encouraging return, and I expect him to improve, and while a winner over 3m2f, I think the trip stretches him, so a slight drop in distance could suit.