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.
A ROYAL ASCOT HANDICAP WILL BE ON THE AGENDA FOR CENTRAL SQUARE
Making steady progress under Sir Michael Stoute’s watch and will be interesting when sent handicapping following three maiden runs.
The three-year-old colt ran better than his 14-1 odds were anticipating, travelling well until failing to pick up over a furlong out when slightly cramped for room.
Paradise Lake stayed on into third spot behind Alfarris and is going the right way.
Karl Burke has kept his filly on the go since January but she looked better than ever when disposing of trailblazer Flawlessly in this five-furlong dash.
Lady Cristal appeared well exposed beforehand but she eased into the lead with ears pricked passing the line and clearly appreciated the return to a quick surface on turf.
Kicked off his career with a verdict over Rivet at Ascot last July but still looked open to more improvement when just pipped by outsider Danielsflyer in this 6f handicap.
Eqitraan, a scopey sort, didn’t appear entirely happy under pressure on HQ’s undulations but Hamdan al Maktoum’s gelding ran on willingly up the hill to give Richard Hannon plenty to ponder for the coming campaign.
Enjoyed a successful 2016, scoring at Windsor, Ayr and Doncaster, and in-form trainer Roger Varian will have been very satisfied with this third to Playful Sound and strong-traveller Next Stage.
Hold-up horses seemed at a disadvantage on the prevailing quick ground and Central Square made up a lot of leeway to hit the frame.
A Royal Ascot handicap will be on the agenda.
Looked decidedly useful on two winning starts on the all-weather, at Kempton and Chelmsford City, but Richard Hannon’s colt lost his unbeaten record when just denied by Ronald R in a driving finish.
Favourite backers were probably counting their money when Son Of The Stars hit the front two out going well, but he was just outpointed after rolling about going into the Dip.
This was an excellent introduction to turf racing.
Glasgow owner Stuart Morrison has enjoyed plenty of success over the years and Kensington Star appears another shrewd purchase.
The late-maturing four-year-old had only one run for Simon Crisford, when third in a Newcastle maiden last June, before joining Keith Dalgleish.
Kensington Star was nicely backed when making a winning debut for the yard in a Redcar maiden, not easy for an older horse against the three-year-olds, and an opening mark here of 78 looked attractive.
He looked the likely winner when produced on the outside but took a little while to get organised, just failing to peg back in-form stablemate Corton Lad.
Kensington Star (has worn headgear on all three starts) still appears something of a greenhorn and the son of Pivotal looks sure to progress, especially with some juice in the ground.