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.
TONY CARROLL CAN FIND SECOND COLLECTION AN OPENING ON THE ALL-WEATHER
(Lingfield, 30 January)
Twice the bridesmaid in January, going down narrowly at Wolverhampton and, again, in this Ladbrokes Novice Auction Stakes.
Richard Kingscote rode the perfect stalking race before hitting the front at the furlong marker.
Ultimately cut down by With Caution, with the odds-on favourite well held in third, this was a solid effort from Second Collection and Tony Carroll can find her an opening on the all-weather before winter’s end.
(Sandown, 2 February)
Sent off 50-1 and 14-1 on his two previous starts at Newbury, Beaufort West attracted some serious money as his price contracted to 9-4 favourite at the off.
Colin Tizzard’s five-year-old travelled like a good thing turning for home but was a bit unlucky to run into a rampant Winston C.
He couldn’t match the winner’s incisive finishing kick but clearly handled the testing ground, with the promise of even better to come as his career progresses.
NOT ANOTHER MUDDLE
(Sandown, 2 February)
Raised in grade following fairly comprehensive victories at Plumpton and Leicester, Not Another Muddle was found wanting when Dolos applied the pressure at the Pond fence.
Gary Moore’s gelding stayed on willing up the hill under Aidan Coleman, almost snatching second spot from gallant front-runner Gino Trail, and this was another step in the right direction.
(Kempton, 2 February)
Heavily-backed on his debut for Charlie Fellowes, Intrepidly looked home for all money when sent to the front by Adam Kirby over a furlong out in this Class 4 mile handicap.
The favourite backers’ cheers choked in their throats, however, as course specialist Family Fortunes emerged from out of the pursuing pack to snatch victory under 7lb claimer Scott McCullagh.
Intrepidly responded positively to the first-time cheek-pieces but connections will feel this is one that slipped away.
(Chelmsford City, 2 February)
Scored over course and distance on his debut for Derek Shaw in Class 6 company at the end of January and Harbour Vision took this elevation to Class 4 in his stride, settling for fourth spot in a blanket finish.
He was niggled along in rear by Paddy Mathers before making headway and the four-year-old had every chance, despite a tendency to hang left under pressure, through the final two furlongs.
OH THIS IS US
(Wolverhampton, 4 February)
Richard Hannon’s six-year-old was last seen chasing home Ostilio in a Group 2 at Longchamp in October, form which entitled him to go close in this Conditions event, but he proved very weak in the betting market.
Ryan Moore had Oh This Is Us nicely poised behind pace-making Michele Strogoff before switching left to deliver his challenge.
It briefly looked a winning manoeuvre before impressive course winner Hathal swooped to conquer with a devastating turn of foot. This should have blown away the cobwebs.