Form expert Rhys Williams shortlists seven runners to add to your ATR Tracker.

  • Friday 11 September
  • Blog
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Welcome to the attheraces.com Eyecatchers column. Every week Rhys Williams will pinpoint horses primed to strike in the next few weeks, if not days. Remember, you can add Rhys's weekly updates to your ATR Tracker.


5th - Watch Sky Sports Racing In HD Handicap, Tuesday 1st September

Music Society bounced back from a poor run in the Stewards’ Cup consolation race with a much better effort at Ripon. Restrained towards the back of the near side group in the early stages, he had made a little headway by halfway and was still travelling well with two furlongs to go.

His path was blocked on the near side and he had to be switched towards the middle of the track. Pushed along, he ran on strongly in the closing stages to finish 2¼ lengths behind the winner in fifth.

This was a far more encouraging run from Music Society who likely would have gone close to winning with a clear run on the near side rail. 122nd in the list for the Ayr Gold Cup, he may sneak into the Bronze Cup, a race that he won last year off the same mark he will race off this year, and if getting in he looks to have a good chance of repeating last year’s success.

9th - Watch Free Race Replays On attheraces.com Fillies’ Novice Auction Stakes (Plus 10/GBB Race), Wednesday 2nd September

My Little Queens was well held on her first two starts and was so once again in this race at Wolverhampton but hinted that there could be more to come from her in the long term. She was allowed to gradually drop towards the back of the field through the early stages and was in a share of last leaving the back straight. Nudged along, she started to improve a little but was hampered entering the straight before staying on under hands and heels in the closing stages.

My Little Queens has received an opening rating of 58 which I think could underestimate her ability. Physically she looks the type to improve with time and I think she will fare better once stepped up in trip. It may be that she won’t start to really blossom until next year but I think she could pick up a nursery before then.

4th - Support The ARC Racing Club Handicap Hurdle, Thursday 3rd September

Envol De La Cour’s rating has dropped 25lb since arriving in Britain from France and he looks ready to take advantage of that falling mark on the evidence of his latest start at Southwell. Held up at the back of the field for the first two circuits, he started to make smooth headway going down the back straight for the final time and moved into third place jumping three out.

He was still travelling strongly turning the final bend just behind the leaders but was once pushed along between the final two hurdles, he didn’t find as much as seemed likely and faded late on to finish fourth, beaten 7¾ lengths.

This distance proved too much of a test of stamina for Envol De La Cour but the ease with which he moved through the race suggests that he’s better than his rating of 103 and once dropped back in trip he can take advantage of that.  

4th - Support The Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap, Thursday 3rd September

Media Storm is now with his third trainer and ran promisingly on his first start for Marco Botti at Chelmsford. Wearing blinkers for the first time, he was a bit slowly away and raced towards the back of the field. He was still in that position with three furlongs to go and had to wait for a gap to appear. Once in the straight he was able to get a clear run and he ran on strongly on the inside to finish two lengths behind the winner in fourth.

The way this race was run favoured those racing prominently and Media Storm did very well to finish so close to the winner considering this. In a stronger run race and possibly back up in trip, he can soon get off the mark for his new trainer.

2nd - Thank You Owners For Supporting This Town Maiden (Plus 10 Race), Thursday 3rd September

Agrimony was one of three newcomers in this maiden and he fared by far the best of them, finishing a close second with a very promising performance. Well away from the stalls, he was eased back into midfield on the outside. He had to be nudged along occasionally to maintain concentration and he was pushed along more vigorously in sixth place shortly before entering the straight.

He gradually made headway and moved into second a furlong out, with Liffey River having opened up a considerable lead at that point. However, once put under stronger pressure Agrimony found plenty and flew home late on to get within three quarters of a length of Liffey River at the line with four lengths back to the third.

Given the signs of inexperience that Agrimony showed during the race and that the winner was better positioned given the pace and had previous experience, this was a highly encouraging debut from Agrimony and he shouldn’t be long in getting off the mark.

4th - Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap, Sunday 6th September

Nietzsche returned from a 309-day absence with a promising run at York. A bit awkward from the stalls, he raced keenly under restraint towards the back of the field in a steadily run race. He was still pulling turning into the straight before making headway to join the leaders 2½ furlongs out. He responded well to pressure to still be in contention with a furlong to go before dropping away late on to finish 3¾ lengths behind the winner in fourth.

This was a good return to action from Nietzsche, particularly considering the slow pace was unsuitable and he raced keenly. He looks capable of winning off this mark on the flat before going back jumping, possibly with the frequently worn tongue tie back on having been left off on this occasion.

3rd - Prix Gladiateur (Group 3), Sunday 6th September

In all of Sublimis’s races over distances around 1m4f this year he’s taken a long time to hit top gear, suggesting that the best plan is to come up with tactics that will allow the jockey to move him into a position where he can get a long clear run in the closing stages as he doesn’t have the turn of foot to suddenly sprint. In the Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp, that did not happen.

Stepping up to 1m7f for the first time, he raced in midfield for most of the race and had to occasionally be nudged along due to racing lazily. He was pushed along entering the straight on the inside in fifth and made some headway but then found his path completely blocked with 1½ furlongs to go. Switched out, he regathered his momentum and stayed on well but could only finish third beaten two lengths.

With a clear run I think Sublimis would have at least gone close to winning. The staying division in France lacks strength at the moment and when he gets the circumstances that allow him to show his true ability, I think he could take high rank in it.

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