Previous Eyecatchers to win last week were Medahim (7-1), Sir Dancealot (5-1), Seniority (9-2), Vale Of Kent (5-2), Sweet Pursuit (2-1), Gossip Column (15-8), Cross Counter (7-4) plus Stradivarius (4-5) and form expert Alan Thomson has flagged up ten horses to follow from the 2018 Qatar Goodwood Festival.

  • Tuesday 07 August
  • Blog
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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.


(Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap)

It wouldn’t be the Qatar Goodwood Festival without several hard-luck stories in competitive handicaps through the week and the curtain-raiser produced the classic horror show for backers of Not So Sleepy.

Adam Kirby had plenty of horse under him but was stopped in his tracks on more than one occasion as progressive Alfarris got favourite backers off to a flying start.

(Matchbook Time To Move Over Fillies’ Handicap)

There was plenty of market interest in Jim Boyle’s three-year-old and Hateya’s backers must have thought they were going to collect when she mastered Rebel Assault and struck the front inside the final furlong.

However, the picture changed dramatically when favourite Move Swiftly lived up to her name by producing a devastating turn of foot to score cosily in the end.

(Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group Handicap)

Richard Fahey’s colt, unbeaten in three career starts, lost his 100 per cent record but still acquitted himself with credit.

Aljady was nicely placed in midfield by Paul Hanagan and stayed on stoutly into sixth behind stylish winner Medahim, despite being tightened up around the two-furlong pole.

There remains scope for improvement.

(Matchbook Best Value Exchange Handicap)

This looked a typically competitive 10f handicap on par but well-supported Communique ran out an emphatic victor.

Back in fifth spot, Jeff Smith’s Rock Eagle was noted making steady headway having been set quite a bit to do and this dual Windsor winner is still on the upgrade.

His dam Highland Shot was successful in the same colours at 7f/mile but Rock Eagle clearly stays a bit further.

(Qatar Nassau Stakes)

Got warm in the preliminaries and made Frankie Dettori sweat as well by pulling hard in the early stages, with winner Wild Illusion setting a sensible gallop.

Veracious threw down her challenge over a furlong out and was just edged out of second by Urban Fox, a creditable performance under the circumstances.

The Cheveley Park Stud three-year-old arrived here on the back of a solid third to Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes and a fast-run mile may well bring out the best in Veracious at this stage of her career.

(Telegraph Nursery Handicap)

Punters couldn’t split Barristan The Bold and More Than This in the betting but the latter asserted his authority in the race, holding a prominent pitch throughout.

In contrast, Barristan The Bold took a hefty bump when Shaybani (pulled up, something amiss) moved left out of the stalls causing a rippling effect.

Richard Kingscote found himself well away from the action unfolding up front but his mount stayed on willingly into fifth spot.

(L’Ormarins Queens Plate Oak Tree Stakes)

A dual winner on soft ground last autumn for William Haggas, One Master did remarkably well to finish a close-up fourth to her strongly-fancied stablemate Pretty Baby.

James Doyle did his very best to put One Master into the race from a troublesome draw out in stall 17 and his mount responded gamely to throw down a challenge on the outside, finishing right on top of the principals.

Given an easier surface, there is a similar Group 3 prize to be won this season.

(Maltsmiths Handicap)

Sir Michael Stoute has enjoyed a magical midsummer and Baritone was unfortunate not to land this 1m 3f handicap.

The lightly-raced colt probably lost the race at the start when forfeiting several lengths to the whole field and although Ryan Moore did his best to make up the lost ground, Baritone’s final furlong flourish came too late to catch Desert Path.

This was a missed opportunity but Baritone, a strong late-maturing sort, can progress again as he is still learning his trade.

(Qatar Summer Handicap)

Close but no cigar for another Sir Michael Stoute handicapper.

Melting Dew and Sir Chauvelin were tightly matched on a line through Epsom/Royal Ascot scorer Dash Of Spice and they performed almost to the pound, with Jim Goldie’s Scottish raider running out a narrow, but worthy, winner.

It will be interesting if the dynamic duo lock horns again in the Ebor Handicap.

(Qatar Apprentice Handicap)

The Night Porter was given a very mature hold-up ride by 7lb claimer Scott McCullough, the rookie rider producing his mount with a storming run approaching the final furlong.

Pushed clear, The Night Porter was always holding the rallying favourite Kassar.

A winner over 10f this summer at Lingfield and Beverley, The Night Porter appreciated this slight drop in distance/class having found Communique too hot to handle (sixth) in a deep handicap at Newmarket.

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