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.
GOODWOOD WINNER MAIN EDITION IS ONE TO WATCH AT ROYAL ASCOT
(Nottingham, 30 May)
Heavy morning rain made this a stern test for inexperienced juveniles but Richard Fahey’s Kodyanna handled conditions better than many of his rivals.
Barry McHugh had his mount in a prominent position throughout and Kodyanna stayed on stoutly to finish a close third.
There is better to come, possibly over an extra furlong.
(Hamilton, 31 May)
Looks poised to strike for Iain Jardine now that the Carrutherstown yard is firing on all cylinders.
Sfumato scored on fast ground over six furlongs at Lingfield last August for previous trainer Roger Charlton and the gelding stayed on nicely over the minimum trip here to finish third to Dapper Man.
Sfumato hasn’t appeared entirely straightforward (wore hood at Lingfield) but is well worth a look when returned to six furlongs on quick ground.
His earlier running-on fifth over five furlongs at Thirsk isn’t looking shabby, with winner Tanasoq blitzing home in last Saturday’s Investec Dash.
(Goodwood, 1 June)
Mark Johnston’s imposing filly had little trouble supplementing her wide-margin Windsor success by putting the boys firmly in their place in this novice stakes.
All surfaces seem to come alike as the track was riding a lot deeper here than Windsor and she will no doubt by Royal Ascot-bound.
(Musselburgh, 2 June)
Couldn’t land on a glove on the William Haggas-trained favourite Dynamic but stayed on strongly through the final furlong, the two market rivals putting a lot of daylight between themselves and the pack.
Exhort had also run into a decent sort in Ostilio at Newmarket the previous month and Richard Fahey’s filly could pluck a nice handicap prize this season.
(Epsom, 2 June)
Softer ground would have been ideal for David O’Meara’s sprinter but he still ran with credit (fifth) behind impressive winner Aces.
Al Qahwa was taken off his feet before hitting full stride over a furlong out.
Danny Tudhope could have done with more elbow room as he squeezed up the inside and this looked improved form on his second start back from a 183-day absence.
Al Qahwa has a fine record at York, scoring there (soft) last May and finishing runner-up in the Sky Bet Dash (good/soft).
He has an entry in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot before another likely return to the Knavesmire.
(Leicester, 4 June)
The form of his hair-breadth win over Braemar at Nottingham early last month is working out and Gododdin did well to finish a staying-on third to market principals Beringer and De Medici having been set a stiff task by Josephine Gordon.
The son of Camelot was only seventh on the home turn and at this stage of his career doesn’t possess an instant burst of acceleration that would have swept him into contention.
Ridden more handily in future, Gododdin remains on a mark that Hugo Palmer will be keen to exploit this summer.