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.
I'M A GAME CHANGER WOULD BE OF INTEREST IN SCOTTISH CHAMPION HURDLE
(Lingfield, 3 April)
Could manage only third on his return to action but this was probably a hot novice stakes.
Eve Johnson Houghton’s winner Key Player showed great resolution to first fend off Kawasir then the sustained challenge of hot favourite Ostilio, the front three pulling eight lengths clear of the pack.
Kawasir filled a similar position behind useful Glendevon at Kempton on his only other start last October and may just have needed this outing.
The colt could well make up into a winning handicapper for Roger Varian as the season progresses.
(Lingfield, 6 April)
Could never recover from a sluggish break but stayed on steadily into fifth spot behind race-fit Poet’s Society in this Class 4 handicap.
Berkshire Boy was ridden positively when scoring with a bit up his sleeve at Chepstow in September and this run will have blown away the cobwebs.
Although 5lb higher for that success, Berkshire Boy should be found a race by Andrew Balding in the coming weeks.
(Lingfield, 6 April)
Charlie Wallis has been in scintillating form and his durable sprinter Zac Brown was well fancied for this competitive dash.
Zac Brown likes to blast out and race up with the pace, so a sloppy start put paid to his chance as fleet-footed Just That Lord dashed clear.
Zac Brown made all to score at Chelmsford City last May off 95, so a mark of 85 these days makes him of obvious interest on the all-weather.
(Kelso, 7 April)
Sent off favourite for the valuable Totescoop6 Handicap Hurdle on the strength of his impressive course and distance victory over subsequent Sandown scorer Sam’s Gunner in February and went down with all guns blazing.
The only four-year-old in the field, Taxmeifyoucan travelled strongly until coming under pressure on the run to the final flight.
The heavy ground may just have sappedhis stamina and Keith Dalgleish will have mapped out an early Flat campaign, hoping to build on last season’s game victory over John Gosden’s Face The Facts in a £62,000 handicap at Haydock.
(Chelmsford City, 8 April)
Kevin Ryan’s gelding was handed a rating of 68 for his first handicap excursion and there was much to like about the way he travelled in the lead until collared at the furlong pole by warm favourite Rustang.
The rest were well held and Finisher, bred to appreciate artificial surfaces, should find a similar Class 5 contest for the taking up north.
I’M A GAME CHANGER
(Ludlow, 9 April)
Philip Hobbs had I’m A Game Changer well tuned-up following a 176-day break and the market leader won with plenty of authority, despite a lapse of concentration three out.
The six-year-old, a dual winner in January/February, is clearly most progressive and would be on interest if lining up for the Scottish Champion Hurdle.
Last year’s first two, Chesterfield and Zubayr, were rated 143 and 138 respectively and I’m A Game Changer can expect a fairly significant rise from his winning mark here of 133 which would get him into the race.