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.
KELSO THIRD MAYO STAR WILL BE SHARPER NEXT TIME
Won her first two starts at Wetherby and Huntingdon before finding Cap Soleil just too strong at Sandown in March.
Petticoat Tails was off the bridle some way out at Sandown and it was no surprise to see Warren Greatrex reach for cheek-pieces in this competitive mares’ bumper won by Dame Rose.
Whether they had the desired effect is debatable as Gavin Sheehan was again pushing away on the home turn, with Petticoat Tails hanging slightly left under maximum pressure before staying on in third.
Perhaps the ground was a bit livelier than ideal and she remains open to more improvement, probably over a longer trip.
Having his first run on turf for Mick Appleby (formerly with Brian Meehan) and it looked promising when Silvestre De Sousa struck for home over two out.
Unfortunately, Faithful Creek had the misfortune to run into Mark Johnston’s unexposed improver Galapiat and although readily swept aside by the winner, Faithful Creek emerged with plenty of credit in second.
With his fitness assured after a successful all-weather winter campaign, Faithful Creek is likely to be out again soon.
Has made giant strides for Tim Vaughan since finishing third at Cheltenham in November off 116.
Debece, an impressive Newbury scorer (soft) last month, improved again stepped up to three miles and made 149-rated The Worlds End pull out all the stops in this Grade 1 contest.
There may well be a little more left in the locker for next season.
Has blossomed in the past two months, scoring readily at Ascot and Market Rasen for Jonjo O’Neill and JP McManus.
Sent off a 25-1 shot in this higher grade, Forthefunofit was always handy in the pursuing pack and only weakened out of it between the last two flights (fifth) in a strong handicap won emphatically by trailblazer Fountains Windfall.
Both Forthefunofit’s earlier victories had come on soft but he seemed to handle this sounder surface well enough.
Showed plenty of promise in bumpers for Malcolm Jefferson and Mayo Star made a satisfactory hurdles debut behind favourite Blue Hussar, a previous winner at Wetherby.
Mayo Star won a Newcastle bumper in early December which has worked out well.
Fourth horse Skipthecuddles has progressed into a fairly decent novice hurdler, chasing home Keepers Hill at Haydock, scoring next time at Wetherby and running a highly respectable eighth to Willoughby Court in the Neptune Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Mayo Star travelled comfortably up with the pace but may just have needed the run following a 123-day break. He’ll be sharper next time.
Attracted strong market support on his racecourse debut for Alan Swinbank but inexperience may have cost him the race.
Neil Farley found himself momentarily short of room two out and Sketch Book Venue took an age to find his full stride when pulled out, eventually running on strongly in the final 100 yards to chase home Kensington Star.
This didn’t appear a strong maiden but Sketch Book Venue has scope for improvement. His trainer excels with these middle-distance types.