WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.
DARK DUNE ATR Tracker
(Sedgefield, 6 January)
Finds winning difficult but is honest and consistent. Tim Easterby's gelding ran into an improver in the shape of Just Cameron but he put 19 lengths between himself and third horse, the disappointing favourite Izzini. Dark Dune should pick up a race before too long and seems to enjoy it around here.
MIGHTY MISSILE ATR Tracker
(Ludlow, 7 January)
A modest but reliable middle-distance handicapper on the level for Tom Tate, Mighty Missile is now in the capable hands of Warren Greatrex. Having his second start over hurdles, Mighty Missile helped force the pace but was collared over the last flight by promising John Constable. The gelding should pay his way when sent handicapping.
THANKSGIVING DAY ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 10 January)
A Kempton winner off 6lb lower, Thanksgiving Day almost made his first visit to Lingfield a winning one. Sent about his business straight from the stalls, Jamie Osborne's colt called the tune until run down close home by well-supported Royal Albert Hall. The three-year-old remains progressive.
AU QUART DE TOUR ATR Tracker
(Fairyhouse, 11 January)
Willie Mullins boasts his usual embarrassment of riches in the bumper sphere and All Quart De Tour sparkled like a diamond in the gathering gloom. He despatched a highly-regarded Gordon Elliott challenger in the manner of a very good animal and it was no surprise to hear his trainer earmarking Cheltenham in March as his big target.
EXCEEDINGLY ATR Tracker
(Chelmsford City, 11 January)
Winner of a Wolverhampton maiden for John Gosden in late October (off 76), Exceedingly is now in the care of sprint ace Robert Cowell. His filly did much of the donkey work from her rails draw in this competitive sprint but was made to look flat-footed as very impressive Blue Aegean swept past down the centre of the track. This was a solid effort and Exceedingly doesn't look badly treated off 75. On the subject of Chelmsford, it is worth noting that the winners of the three sprints on their inaugural card were drawn 9, 9 and 13, so keep a watching brief on a possible track bias.
THECORNISHCOWBOY ATR Tracker
(Wolverhampton, 12 January)
Grabbed the headlines this summer when racking up a remarkable five-timer during the month of June (final win came off 85) and he has returned from a late autumn break in good heart. Reappearing here only three days after running on stoutly into third behind well-backed Chauvelin at Lingfield (off a mark of 70), Thecornishcowboy was just tapped for toe in this quite competitive handicap won by Archipeligo. The six-year-old has never been fully effective around Dunstall Park and is worth noting in the weeks ahead on his return to Lingfield and Kempton.
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