WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.
Bounced back in some style from his Haydock flop on soft ground (last of four), quickening from the rear to mow down his rivals in a matter of strides in this 1m 3f handicap. West Coast Flyer was having only his sixth start for David Simcock and this previous Wolverhampton maiden scorer is clearly most effective on synthetic surfaces.
Kevin Ryan’s filly has shown all her best form on quick ground, so conditions were in her favour going to post for this Class 4 handicap. However, things didn’t pan out for Tom Eaves as he found himself short of room over a furlong out with still plenty of horse under him.
Narrow winner Shamaheart got first run and although Company Asset closed to finish third, the damage had been done. The three-year-old had run well at Doncaster a fortnight earlier when chasing home Hawatif and seems to like Town Moor as she outran her odds of 25-1 to finish third behind hotpot Nemoralia in a £25,000 Doncaster nursery last September.
Company Asset could be one to note at next month’s St Leger festival if the ground comes up slick.
Up 9lb for his wide-margin course and distance triumph a fortnight earlier, Real Dominion looks capable of scoring again under a more conventional ride than he received in the Shergar Cup Classic.
For someone as talented and experienced as Emma-Jayne Wilson it was a surprise to see her circling the field suddenly before the home turn, trapped wide. Real Dominion struck the front briefly about two out before, somewhat predictably, his run flattened out.
Andrew Balding’s colt held on for third spot and Real Dominion remains an interesting middle-distance sort.
Has dropped to an attractive mark (70) and Flying Bear was quietly fancied to build on his third to Seamster at Doncaster. Unfortunately, the action unfolded down the stands’ side, with Flying Bear stranded in no man’s land, a good bit wide of in-form winner Outrage. Third place wasn’t a bad effort under the circumstances.
Making her debut for Richard Hughes in this seven-furlong maiden won by Godolphin market leader Wuheida, well-bred Nathania showed good speed to lead over two out before hanging away her chance (third). Her sire Nathaniel, the 2011 King George hero, favoured cut in the ground so this fast surface may not have been ideal.
Having his second start for Iain Jardine since being recruited from the Godolphin operation, Hibou made up late ground to finish seventh, not too far in arrears of impressive winner Robinnielly. Last season Hibou made all to score for the boys in blue at Lingfield before racing too freely at Ripon, and Jardine is clearly on a mission to teach his three-year-old how to settle better.
Hibou’s owners have had a lot of success with another purchase, the aptly named Shrewd, and Hibou could be one more potential money-spinner. Soft ground at Ayr may not have been ideal and the handicapper may see fit to drop him a couple of pounds.
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