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.
OLD NEWTON CUP FIFTH CAN LAND A BIG HANDICAP THIS SEASON
(Thirsk, 4 July)
Looked well in the preliminaries but doesn’t do anything particularly quickly.
Despite hanging under pressure, Primeiro Boy stayed on into fourth behind Prince Elzaam in this novice auction stakes and Richard Fahey’s colt is worth a second look in nurseries, especially when there is a bit of ease in the ground.
(Doncaster 6 June)
Marco Botti has campaigned his filly almost exclusively over six and seven furlongs, so it was no surprise to see Seprani staying on steadily into third dropped to the minimum trip.
Seprani beat Summerghand at Epsom last August and is dropping to a mark that should make her increasingly competitive in this grade.
(Sandown, 7 June)
Settled nicely off the pace racing well within his comfort zone, Escobar was produced with a perfectly-timed run by Danny Tudhope but had no answer to Tigre Du Terre’s finishing kick through the final 100 yards.
The winner, clearly a most progressive three-year-old, dipped under standard and Escobar will be unlucky if he meets such a well handicapped horse in future.
(Haydock, 7 June)
Ruined his chance by pulling hard and refusing to settle in a hot 1m 6f Class 2 handicap won by pacesetting Making Miracles.
Sexy Beast has made giant strides in recent weeks and the 7lb rise for his five lengths victory over course and distance in mid-June wasn’t the sole reason for this defeat.
Ed De Giles will have some decent targets in mind for his three-year-old gelding.
(Beverley, 7 June)
Made a winning debut at Ripon over six furlongs but didn’t seem inconvenienced by this drop to the minimum trip.
Queens Gift and hot favourite Nearest Green had the race between them from a long way out and Michael Dods’ filly had to settle for second prize close home.
There was a four lengths gap back to the William Haggas-trained newcomer Alqaab, so this looks solid form.
(Haydock, 7 June)
High enough in the handicap these days but has run two very solid races since his return.
Following an encouraging fourth to Mirage Dancer at Goodwood, Roger Charlton employed 7lb claimer Harry Burns for the top weight in the fiendishly competitive bet365 Old Newton Cup and Blakeney Point was dropped right out from his very wide draw.
Making good headway on the outside, the five-year-old’s run flattened out through the final furlong but this was an excellent effort to grab fifth spot.
An easier surface would have helped and there may be a decent handicap in him this season.