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.
EL TORITO CAN SCORE UNDER FAVOURABLE CIRCUMSTANCES
Bint Arcano pocketed this rewarding £15,562 pot with some aplomb, quickening smartly to put the race to bed in a matter of strides. She looks a real seven-furlong specialist for Julie Camacho and the filly will remain competitive on this evidence, even after the handicapper has taken punitive measures.
Heavy rain was bad news for connections, but the seven-year-old handled the muddy track quite well, staying on into second spot behind well-handicapped Plaisir D’amour. Red Devil Star took the measure of Champagne At Tara on better terrain at Ascot in mid-December and should continue to run well if the ground dries up in the spring.
El Torito was off the track for 169 days but there was sustained support for the colt, presumably on the back of some strong home work. Things didn’t drop kindly for him after he was dropped in from his wide draw and Adam Kirby found himself in an impossible position as keen-going Boater made the best of his way home.
Under the circumstances El Torito did well to snatch fourth spot and this Windsor scorer in June is worth another chance.
Graduating into a solid two-mile handicap hurdler for Harry Fry, recent Plumpton scorer Golden Birthday travelled nicely turning for home before looking a bit one-paced as he attempted to close down trailblazer Remiluc.
Golden Birthday won his bumper at Wincanton last May on a good to firm surface, so there could be better to come in the next few months.
Only modest but Jeremy Noseda’s Marzouq should find his colt another race (won at Chelmsford in September). Although the money was shovelled on Marzouq before this one-mile handicap, he proved no match for fast improving Tricorn but he saw out this mile trip strongly.
An Irish point winner for Colin Bowe, Rosie McQueen now runs in the JP McManus colours and the big-spending owner will be hoping for better fortune at Cheltenham after his mare crashed out at the penultimate flight when in control.
Rosie McQueen was stepping up on her Market Rasen second to Little Miss Poet and will be breaking her maiden tag in the near future if none the worse for her tumble.