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.
IMPROVING ROKSANA TO BE KEPT ONSIDE
(Nottingham, 1 November)
Continued her frustrating sequence of second prizes, losing out by a short head to Quoteline Direct under a hands and heels ride from Jamie Brace in this 1m 4f amateur riders’ handicap.
Karl Burke's filly had led over a furlong out in a similar contest at Doncaster the previous week before being overpowered by Tomahawk Kid and she deserves a change of fortune.
(Nottingham, 1 November)
Mark Johnston’s juvenile had been a beaten favourite at Haydock in June on his sole start but made no mistake on his comeback run in this mile maiden.
Franny Norton always had him beautifully settled just on the fringe of the action and the race was quickly put to bed when King’s Proctor eased in front of favourite Tamkeen.
The son of Cape Cross has the stamp of yet another middle-distance three-year-old to roll off the Johnston production line for next season.
(Newcastle, 3 November)
There was plenty to like about this debut run.
Newmarket trainers dominated the betting market for this mile maiden and Hamdan Al Maktoum’s colt didn’t go unnoticed in the parade ring.
Despite becoming a bit fractious and edging left exiting the stalls, Khamry travelled strongly until showing his greenness when brought under pressure by Phillip Makin over a furlong out.
The pair kept on nicely into third spot behind Luca Cumani’s Al Galayel and Owen Burrows will have been delighted by this showing.
THE COBBLER SWAYNE
(Ayr, 4 November)
There was a morning plunge on The Cobbler Swayne in this 2m 5f handicap chase on his first outing for Pauline Robson since a switch from Lucinda Russell.
The eight-year-old had looked one to follow when beating Tom George's Ballinvarrig at Ayr back in March 2016 but things haven't quite worked out.
However, The Cobbler Swayne has dropped in the ratings and cruised into contention under a typically quiet Brian Hughes ride, only to find disappointingly little from three out.
He either needed this outing, found the very testing ground too onerous or is a bit soft, so his next run should tell us more.
(Carlisle, 5 November)
Keith Dalgleish often sends a smart horse to Carlisle for his/her debut and there was market support for his Flat-bred colt Qasr.
The son of Excelebration is a handsome individual and moved like a decent sort at the head of affairs in this ‘junior’ bumper until fading out of contention once favourite Cuckoo’s Calling and Zoltan Varga swept past early in the straight.
It would be no surprise to see Qasr turning up on the all-weather this winter at distances of 1m 2f-plus.
(Plumpton, 6 November)
Finished an excellent third (40-1) at Chepstow three weeks earlier but the bookies weren’t in such benevolent mood, with Roksana going off a heavily supported 10-11 favourite.
Harry Skelton rode a confident race, cutting down the leaders off the home bend before dashing clear over the last flight. Roksana has plenty more to offer.