WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.
WOLVES WINNER MOTAGALLY CAN DEFY ANOTHER JUMP IN HIS OFFICIAL MARK
(Lingfield, 3 October)
The gelded son of Kingman was having his third outing in the one-mile starsports.bet Maiden Stakes on the back of two minor placed efforts at Yarmouth and Kempton, both over six furlongs.
Imhotep was on his toes in the preliminaries and although breaking alertly, Jason Watson kept his mount under restraint until finding himself a little short of room when the pace quickened.
TORN AND FRAYED
(Warwick, 3 October)
Nigel Twiston-Davies must have been delighted with the performance of his French-bred five-year-old on hurdling debut.
Torn And Frayed had only the one run last season, running fifth in a Market Rasen bumper in March, and punters weren’t wildly optimistic about his chances in this 2m 5f maiden, sending him off at double-digit odds.
Torn And Frayed was understandably a bit sticky at a couple of his obstacles but after tracking Aimee De Sivola from three out, he looked the most likely winner at the final flight, only to be run out of it by the rallying favourite (received 12lb) close home.
(Southwell, 4 October)
Looking a standout in the parade ring, Tafish was very well backed for this mile Novice Stakes on his third run for Richard Hughes and duly did the business.
Shane Kelly kept him out of the kick-back as much as possible emerging from stall 11 and Tafish was being pushed along on the home turn, a bit out of his ground.
Bermuda Schwartz initiated a double for the same combination in the nursery later on the card and with Knockacullion sauntering home by 16 lengths here a fortnight ago, the stable may have more bullets to fire on the Fibresand in the coming weeks.
(Newmarket, 5 October)
Richard Hannon’s three-year-old shouldered top weight in the fillies’ handicap which brought down the curtain on an excellent Saturday card.
Canton Queen, a daughter of Shamardal, had put up a good fight when chasing home John Gosden’s She’s Got You at Ascot in early September.
That winner came out to run the older Agincourt to a neck in a Listed contest, so it was no surprise to see Canton Queen’s odds contract before the off.
Things didn’t go smoothly, however, and Tom Queally endured a frustrating ride, with Canton Queen making up her ground quite smoothly from well off the pace before running into trouble from over a furlong out.
She wasn’t beaten far in fifth and is one to note back on better ground.
(Wolverhampton, 5 October)
Charlie Hills has Motagally in terrific shape and his three-year-old shrugged off a 7lb rise for beating Brighton specialist Pour La Victoire comfortably the previous month.
Kieran Shoemark rode the perfect race, moving his mount into contention before the home turn and he had plenty of horse under him when kicking for home a furlong out.
Motagally won on his only previous visit to Dunstall Park last September and can defy another jump in his official mark.
LOOKS LIKE MURT
(Kelso, 6 October)
Looks Like Murt couldn’t have been more impressive on chasing debut for Lucinda Russell.
Her gelding shaped well when third at Ayr in February and improved again when runner-up in a decent novices’ hurdle at Newcastle in April.
This strapping individual was always going to be better over fences given time and he simply pulverised his rivals, looking just the type to power round Ayr, Carlisle and Hexham (where the stable does so well) on testing ground this winter.