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.
SIR MARK PRESCOTT'S HARMONICA CAN CALL THE TUNE FOR ELITE RACING CLUBHARMONICA
(Kempton, 30 August)
The Elite Racing Club filly is getting closer to that illusive maiden victory with form figures of 4-3-2.
Harmonica probably ran into a smart sort in Sir Michael Stoute’s Mahaarat in this mile contest, but she really found her stride inside the final furlong to pull readily clear of the rest.
Sir Mark Prescott can find her a suitable race before too long.
(Sandown, 1 September)
Has climbed the ratings on the back of two all-weather victories this summer but still appears competitive for Hughie Morrison.
Helfire was held up and well adrift of the front rank turning for home before making significant headway sticking like a limpet to the far rail.
Having made up the leeway to throw down a determined challenge to the more prominently ridden Here’s Two, it was no surprise to see her running flattening out slightly in the final 50 yards.
She remains in good heart.
(Sandown, 2 September)
Although he broke well enough in this 1m 2f handicap, Euginio was gradually shuffled to the rear posse.
Andrea Atzeni found himself slightly trapped on heels over two out but maneuvered through a gap to deliver what looked a promising challenge.
Unfortunately, winner Thundering Home moved up on his outside, edging right under pressure, and snatched up Euginio was the meat in the sandwich between Thundering Home and Across Dubai, finishing a never-nearer fifth.
The Hannon-trained colt caught the eye when chasing home Middle Kingdom at Newmarket in April and this previous Sandown winner also emerged with credit when fourth to Frankuus in a strong renewal of the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.
(Chester, 2 September)
After only six career starts, Mark Johnston’s colt is emerging as a talented middle-distance handicapper.
Cape Coast had the misfortune to meet a rampant My Reward at the very top of his game but his strong late thrust cut the winner’s clear advantage to under a length at the line.
A dual winner in June, at Ripon and Beverley, Cape Coast ran Bin Battuta to a head at Ascot the following month and is racking up a series of very solid efforts.
(Hamilton, 2 September)
Scored twice for David Barron in August, at Beverley and Musselburgh, and she is making steady progress at trips around a mile.
Pantera Negra was anchored at the back by Ben Curtis and could never quite get to grips with Whatsthemessage and Isabella.
There was certainly no disgrace in finishing third to this in-form pair of fillies and with her ability to handle some cut underfoot, she can pick up another race up north this autumn.
(Ripon, 4 September)
Proved no match for well-regarded Mokaatil and Harrogate in this 5f maiden run on quick ground, but again shaped with promise.
Tim Easterby’s filly wasn’t beaten far and David Allan didn’t subject her to a hard race.
Biddy Brady twice had a rear view of Michael Dods’s smart Arcavallo at Beverley last month and now qualifies for a handicap mark.