Eyecatchers

Dubai Fifty (14-1), Soldier In Action (11-1), Master The World (6-1), Stradivarius (6-1), Erik The Red (11-4), Euro Nightmare (5-2), Golden Birthday (5-2), Seduce Me (13-8), Sweet Pursuit (4-5) plus Milrow (4-6) were previous Eyecatchers to score last week and form expert Alan Thomson has shortlisted ten Eyecatchers from the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

  • Tuesday 08 August
  • Blog
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TEN TO TRACK FROM THE 2017 QATAR GOODWOOD FESTIVAL

GARCIA
(Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap, 1 August)

An eventful curtain-raiser with wayward Dark Red demoted in favour of Fabricate after threatening to skittle several of his rivals.

Garcia took up the running over a furlong out but was getting the worst of the argument when squeezed out in the melee.

Richard Fahey’s gelding, gutsy winner of last May’s Silver Bowl at Haydock, hasn’t had much racing and remains open to a little improvement.

SHENANIGANS
(Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap, 1 August)

Twice finished behind Tribute Act but with that well-touted rival bombing out Shenanigans proved an impressive winner of this fillies’ handicap.

Andrea Atzeni buried Roger Varian’s three-year-old in midfield but Shenanigans fairly powered home when seeing clear daylight.

Onwards and upwards.

HOCHFELD
(Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap, 2 August)

Quite well fancied for this 1m 4f Class 2 handicap but floundered in the mud when the pace quickened early in the straight.

Mark Johnston’s colt stayed on into sixth behind stablemate Londinium and deserves full marks for perseverance under atrocious conditions.

Hochfeld didn’t look anything special during a winter campaign on the all-weather but scored twice at Chester when reappearing in July over 12 furlongs.

More middle-distance races can be won by this durable three-year-old.

FAIR COP
(Tatler Handicap, 3 August)

Scored at Windsor on good to soft back in May so Fair Cop may have been better equipped than most to handle the mud.

Andrew Balding’s filly struck the front over a furlong out but was made to look leaden-footed when Quench Dolly scooted past on the outside.

She was unfortunate to meet such an in-form and thriving rival.

FRONTISPIECE
(Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap, 3 August)

Split two smart sorts in Good Omen and Addeybb in this 1m 2f Class 2 contest after hitting the front two furlongs out, briefly looking the probable winner before Good Omen asserted.

The Queen’s colt beat On To Victory on his seasonal return at Sandown in June, the form of which is working out, and Frontispiece is going the right way.

BIRCHWOOD
(Betfred Mile Handicap, 4 August)

Settled into a perfect pitch by Jamie Spencer in the slipstream of pacesetters Zhui Feng and Masham Star before being switched out to strike the front inside the final furlong.

The lead proved fairly short-lived, however, as Master The World surged up the far rail and Birchwood was then mugged on the line for second by Tony Curtis.

Birchwood is at his very best with some cut and a big autumn prize may lie in waiting.

The Godolphin four-year-old will be nudged up a few pounds from this mark of 102 but he beat Sovereign Debt on soft ground at Chester last July off 110, so all is certainly not lost.

GM HOPKINS
(Betfred Mile Handicap, 4 August)

Stall one looked a promising draw on paper but it proved a poisoned chalice for Andrea Atzeni on John Gosden’s gelding.

Twice Gm Hopkins met serious interference in a messy affair and 13th place didn’t do him justice.

The former Royal Hunt Cup winner has a terrific record at Ascot and now that he has slipped to a reasonable mark is one to note for the Balmoral Handicap in October.

LONDINIUM
(Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap, 4 August)

Carried a 6lb penalty for his emphatic success two days’ earlier and that ultimately proved his undoing.

Not seen until the end of June, Londinium is maturing into a really smart middle-distance handicapper and he lost nothing in defeat after a spirited tussle with equally impressive Walton Street, the pair pulling clear.

MEDAHIM
(Qatar Handicap, 5 August)

Richard Hannon’s colt would have finished closer to Battered with a clearer passage and can be counted a shade unlucky.

Frankie Dettori did well to settle his headstrong mount in the early stages but found his route blocked when poised to deliver a challenge over a furlong out.

A winner on quick ground at Newmarket, Medahim remains open to a bit more improvement when returned to a sounder surface.

RAUCOUS
(Qatar Stewards’ Cup, 5 August)

Third 12 months ago but the combination of a sluggish start and very high draw (26) effectively scuppered his chance.

The blinkers Raucous wore in the Wokingham were back on and Jim Crowley urged his mount along to finish a respectable 12th.

Raucous is not an easy horse to place these days but William Haggas found him a winning opportunity in a Class 2 Handicap at Chelmsford City in April.

The overriding impression remains that there is a decent turf sprint to be won by the Highclere Thoroughbreds gelding if everything falls into place.

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