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.
FAHEY CAN GO TO WAR WITH UNLUCKY GALLIPOLI
Would have nailed Brilliant Vanguard in another stride, having been held up for a late rattle. David Barron’s gelding, a maiden winner on soft at Redcar last July, didn’t cut the mustard in two runs on the all-weather in the winter but looked a happier horse back on turf after a 143-day break.
Running in the familiar Fitri Hay silks, Predetermined finished fourth in what appeared a pretty hot one-mile maiden. Godolphin’s Silent Attack and Cheveley Park’s Autocratic fought out the finish but Predetermined wasn’t far behind.
The merit of his introductory run at Newbury when fourth to Smuggler’s Moon has been well advertised and Andrew Balding has a nice type on his hands.
Showed promise on his first start at Newcastle for Keith Dalgleish (formerly with Marco Botti) and travelled strongly on the heels of the leaders in this tight handicap.
Phillip Makin was screaming for room on Lat Hawill from the two-furlong pole and fairly flew home, but all too late to catch another strong traveller, Treasury Note.
Keith Dalgleish’s statuesque gelding treated his rivals with disdain stepping into handicap company off a lowly mark of 62. Mr Grumpy was slowly away but breezed into contention before striding clear of the penalised Wotabreeze. The son of Sir Percy should win again.
Richard Fahey’s three-year-old hasn’t enjoyed the rub of the green so far this season and his luck didn’t change in this six-furlong handicap as Tony Hamilton was cramped for room at a crucial stage.
Gallipoli had run well in defeat at Newmarket and Doncaster previously, and he is just the type of sprinter with which his trainer excels as the season progresses.
Having his first start for Iain Jardine (formerly with Seamus Durack), Eastern Dragon made a good fist of overcoming a seven-week absence following a head defeat from Ice Slice at Brighton in April.
That effort came on soft ground but Eastern Dragon seemed to handle this slick surface well enough in finishing a close-up third.
Indeed, the six-year-old may well have made a winning debut for his new connections with a smoother passage and with Brighton conqueror Ice Slice winning his next three races, the latest at Haydock off 86, Eastern Dragon’s mark of 71 appears quite tasty.
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