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.
LE PATRIOTE ONE TO FOLLOW OVER THE JUMPS
(Lingfield, 1 November)
Cost 100,000 guineas as a yearling but had already been gelded for this belated introduction. Although sluggish at the break, Kodiac Pride moved comfortably on to the heels of the leaders before James Doyle launched his mount on the wide outside. His charge gradually found his full stride and was closing down on another smart newcomer, Motakhayyel, as the line loomed. With previous winner and hot favourite Alexa Rose held in third, this debut will have pleased William Haggas.
(Kempton, 2 November)
Unlucky not to hit the frame in this 7f handicap. Although ultimately no match for well-supported favourite Diocles Of Rome, the prominently-ridden five-year-old was tightened up close home, losing two places in the last few strides, finishing fourth. Danecase had earlier whipped Young John at Leicester, with the runner-up coming out later in the month to score by six lengths. David Dennis has an in-form horse at present.
(Newmarket, 2 November)
Probably ruined her winning chance by pulling too hard for much of this 1m2f handicap. Nevertheless, Livvys Dream was the only rival to give well-handicapped C Note a race, throwing down a sustained challenge before being held close home. Charlie Hills’s filly had scored over a mile previously at Kempton and Windsor, and looks a steadily improving three-year-old.
(Ayr, 3 November)
Dr Richard Newland doesn’t waste the petrol money when sending one over the border and Le Patriote was the subject of sustained support before landing the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial. The ex-French six-year-old displayed a smart turn of foot to mow down Chti Balko and there is no shortage of stamina too, as he scored over 2m 3f at Ascot (soft) in February. Holds a Unibet Greatwood Hurdle entry at Cheltenham later this month.
(Newcastle, 3 November)
Hammered off the boards on her return from a 194-day absence following a wind procedure, Wondering Spirit raced keenly at the head of affairs for Kevin Stott before being swallowed up by Simon Crisford’s newcomer Reconcile and So Macho. She looks up to winning a similar novice stakes before going handicapping.
(Carlisle, 4 November)
With winner Count Meribel breaking the track record in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, Jammin Masters deserves credit for keeping on stoutly into second spot. The former ex-Irish hunter chaser was a dual winner over hurdles last season for Warren Greatrex, both on heavy ground, so could well improve again when encountering a slower surface.