Eyecatchers (5 May)

Miss Marjurie (10-1), Directorship (8-1), Second Step (7-1), Sort It Out (6-1), Simply Shining (5-1), Fun Mac (5-1), Go Nani Go (4-1), Alhella (9-4) plus Midnight Shot (7-4) all previous Eyecatchers to win last week - Alan has six more for your Tracker.

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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.

(Thirsk, 2 May)
Bidding to repeat last year's success in the Thirsk Hunt Cup (when trained by Ruth Carr, now with David O'Meara), but a coffin draw in stall 17 was always going to create problems. Dropped out early, Fort Bastion was stone-cold last turning for home and his jockey must have been hoping for a parting of Red Sea proportions as he attempted a highly ambitious run up the rail. Unsurprisingly, Fort Bastion never saw a shaft of sunlight and finished in the ruck on a fairly tight rein.
(Doncaster, 2 May)
Reappearing 16 days after his Ripon victory, Auspicion found the upgrade to Class 2 handicap company slightly beyond him. Hitting the front two furlongs out, William Haggas' three-year-old couldn't contain Realtra and Misterioso, but this was still a fine effort. His initial mark of 85 is quite stiff but there should be more in the locker.
(Thirsk, 2 May)
Locked horns throughout the final furlong with eventual winner Simply Shining in this one-mile fillies' and mares' event, with only a short-head separating the duellists. This was an encouraging handicap debut (first two pulled well clear) and there is scope for improvement.
(Newmarket, 2 May)
Probably inconvenienced by his wide berth, Top Tug looked pretty pedestrian as he faded out of contention in the nine-furlong handicap won by Balty Boys. Perhaps a combination of the draw/fast ground/inadequate trip collaborated against Sir Michael Stoute's four-year-old and he had looked a different horse entirely when beating Cloudscape on a much softer surface at HQ last May. Give him another chance over a longer trip.
(Newmarket, 3 May)
Roger Charlton's five-year-old took a good old tug throughout in this competitive 1m 4f handicap and it is to his immense credit that he was still bang in the firing line when hitting the rising ground. Quest For More found only Astronereus too strong close home and considering he won over two miles at Ascot last autumn, this was a strong performance over a much shorter trip.
(Newmarket, 3 May)
Blast-and-go from the stalls is his only tactic and it's a very potent weapon. Mick Channon's five-year-old took the legs off most of his 21 rivals until fading into seventh behind smart winner Eastern Impact. This was Shore Step's first run in 234 days and he is primed to build on last season's all-the-way successes at Doncaster and Ascot. 

Alan Thomson's Eyecatchers column is sponsored by SIS - visit www.sis.tv for more information on a range of services for bookmaker and punter.

Eyecatchers (5 May)
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