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.
VENETIA WILLIAMS’S ENOLA GAY DESERVES RICHER REWARD FOR CONSISTENCY
(Chelmsford City, 3 January)
Generally consistent but without a win in nearly two years, Royal Birth almost snapped that losing sequence when finding only evergreen Tropics too strong.
Stuart Williams clearly had the gelding straight for his first run in more than 300 days, but Royal Birth should still benefit from the outing.
(Wetherby, 4 January)
Qawamees was quite a highly-rated maiden handicapper on the level for Ed Dunlop and this was an encouraging opening effort for new trainer Mick Easterby.
Harry Bannister restrained the four-year-old until making headway in the straight and Qawamees ran on well to fill the minor berth behind promising Lisheen Castle and The Knot Is Tied.
(Wincanton, 5 January)
Only once out of the frame in his last seven starts, Enola Gay recovered from a bad error four out and was just run out of it by favourite Molineaux in the 2m 4f BetVictor Chase.
Venetia Williams has her string on a roll and Enola Gay deserves richer reward for his consistency.
(Lingfield, 5 January)
Has been sent off at huge odds since joining Michael Attwater from James Tate but Real Estate hinted he was running back into form with this third to Kodiline.
The colt has slipped to an attractive mark (68 here) and connections will be hopeful that this encouraging run will act as a springboard to better things.
(Sandown, 5 January)
Finished runner-up for the second time in the 32red.com Handicap Hurdle but ran into an improving sort in Monsieur Lecoq.
It was a similar story last January when finding Call Me Lord too classy but Our Merlin went on to run very well (third) later in the month at Cheltenham.
Robert Walford may have the same plan in mind for Our Merlin, an admirable, keen-going type.
(Chepstow, 7 December)
Rookie 7lb claimer Jason Dixon continues to impress and he was coolness personified aboard previous Market Rasen winner Love Lane in this mares’ handicap hurdle.
She shrugged aside a 5lb rise, easing to the front before the final flight and readily drawing clear. Love Lane thrives on soft ground and continues at the top of her game.