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.
ACROSS THE STARS ATR Tracker
(Nottingham, 7 October)
Plenty of promise to be gleaned from this debut effort. Sir Michael Stoute's colt was scrubbed along from two out and could never match strides with useful Mengli Khan. Across The Stars will stay further than this one-mile trip in due course and handled the soft ground well enough. These informative backend Nottingham maidens have a habit of throwing up useful middle-distance types to follow as three-year-olds.
AL KHAN ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 8 October)
Runs this track well but was never given the chance to shine. The home bend looms very quickly after the seven-furlong start and Al Khan found himself shuffled back to the rear. Consequently, the race was effectively done and dusted by the time his jockey discovered some racing room, with Al Khan staying on into fourth.
SHARAAKAH ATR Tracker
(Newmarket, 9 October)
Ed Dunlop's filly has paid her way this season, winning her maiden at HQ in July and filling the runners-up berth back at Newmarket and Doncaster. Sharaakah bit off a bit more than she could chew in the Group 3 Vision Oh So Sharp Stakes but probably would have finished a bit closer than seventh but for some traffic issues in the Dip.
MANTOU ATR Tracker
(Chepstow, 10 October)
Was set a stern test on his seasonal return, pitched into a competitive 2m 3f handicap won in style by admirable Court Minstrel. Mantou was nicely settled behind the leaders and inched closer quite menacingly at the third last flight before failing to quicken, eventually finishing sixth. This was a very creditable effort for an inexperienced four-year-old against his elders and John Ferguson will surely find him a slightly easier assignment next time.
SHOW ME AGAIN ATR Tracker
(Chelmsford, 10 October)
Having only his fourth start, David Dennis's colt deserved better than sixth place. Show Me Again found himself short of room after a furlong and his jockey manoeuvred him on to the rail. That wasn't the place to be in a moderately-run handicap as Show Me Again couldn't find space to deliver his challenge. The top weight, a 33-1 winner on his Nottingham debut in June, deserves another chance.
ORMITO ATR Tracker
(Newmarket 10 October)
There's plenty of stamina in his pedigree and Andrew Balding wasted no time stepping the two-year-old up to 10 furlongs in the Zetland Stakes won so emphatically by Glamorous Approach. Ormito, previously a seven-length Haydock winner on soft ground, couldn't quicken when the principals moved through the gears but almost snatched third place. There's much to look forward to next season.
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