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.
WATCH OUT WHEN GREYBOUGG GOES RIGHT-HANDED ON SOFT SURFACE
Gradually finding his feet over fences but ran into a corker in Nicky Henderson’s highly progressive Pougne Bobbi in this 2m 4f handicap.
Richard Johnston had Pull The Chord anchored in rear until making steady headway before the home turn.
His mount kept on well without troubling the winner and as this was only Pull The Chord’s fourth run over fences, it was another building block.
It has been a long road back for Nigel Hawke’s gelding after he was lumbered with an unrealistically high mark (135) following two hurdles successes in March 2015.
After a string of uninspiring efforts, Greybougg was finally given a chance by the handicapper (dropped him to 117) and there was plenty of money for the eight-year-old.
His backers must have thought they were going to collect when Danny Cook kicked Greybougg clear turning for home but his mount was a spent force when favourite Freddie’s Portrait reeled him in after the last.
Best going right-handed, Greybougg handles plenty of cut and his turn is at hand.
Has shown steady progress for Ben Pauling since leaving Oliver Sherwood’s yard and hit the target at the third time of asking following a rare old tussle with Woodfort and one-paced favourite Snow Leopardess.
Creep Debois won a Plumpton bumper on good ground for his previous trainer and appreciated the decent surface on Town Moor.
He appears destined for a productive spring when sent handicapping and he saw out this 2m 5f trip quite strongly, recording a respectable time.
Showed only modest form when placed in a bumper and maiden hurdle, but this was more encouraging.
Little Chunk was able to match strides with useful winner High Bridge for much of this two-mile trip, before sending out distress flares halfway down the straight.
The five-year-old stayed on pluckily in fourth, behind fair yardsticks Azzerti and Multiculture, and as a son of 2003 Ascot Gold Cup hero Mr Dinos (six lengths winner on fast ground), Warren Greatrex’s gelding may well appreciate a sounder surface/longer trip in due course.
Good to see this popular course specialist back in form after a spell in the wilderness.
Consequently, he is down to a mark 10lb lower than almost a year ago when in rampant form and Bertie Blu Boy looks poised to strike in the next few weeks.
John Egan was happy to sit on the tail of free-running Colourbearer before mounting his challenge off the home bend and Bertie was only collared close home by prolific winning favourite Born To Finish.
Having his first stab at this 3m 1f trip and saw it out well to chase home progressive I Just Know, conceding 8lb to the sure-footed winner.
Katachenko won over two miles at Aintree last April, beating Dandridge and Viconte Du Noyer in the Red Rum Handicap Chase off the same rating, and is coming to the boil for in-form trainer Donald McCain.