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.
INSTANT ATTRACTION ATR Tracker
(Pontefract, 8th April)
Jedd O'Keeffe has hit the ground running in the early weeks of the turf campaign and Instant Attraction wasn't disgraced behind his winning stablemate New Bidder in this six-furlong handicap. Sent off 25-1 and 20-1 on his last two starts, Instant Attraction will be a shorter price next time, I suspect, after his running-on fifth, beaten just over five lengths. The gelding landed a punt for previous trainer Kevin Ryan at Lingfield last summer.
LACAN ATR Tracker
(Nottingham, 9th April)
Clive Cox's three-year-old colt had the run of the race out in front under Frankie Dettori but couldn't quite cope with GM Hopkins' finishing kick. Lacan possesses size and scope, so better things could be on the horizon.
HANNO ATR Tracker
(Newbury, 12th April)
These early-season maidens at the Berkshire track have the habit of throwing up handicap winners further down the line and Ed Dunlop's three-year-old could fall into that category. Having his third career start, Hanno belied his 25-1 starting price, showing distinct promise in fourth behind winner Matalleb. Furthermore, this Henrythenavigator colt would probably have preferred a sounder surface.
NORSE BLUES ATR Tracker
(Thirsk, 12th April)
David Barron's tough handicapper looks primed to repeat last year's Thirsk Hunt Cup victory judged on this lovely pipe-opener. Norse Blues is 8lb higher this year but such is his love affair with Thirsk (also bagged a summer handicap there last season) that a follow-up is not beyond him. The six-year-old wasn't knocked about in midfield behind well-backed Farlow here and will be better suited by a sounder surface.
ANSWERED ATR Tracker
(Navan, 12th April)
Runner-up to clear-cut scorer Fascinating Rock in the 1m 2f Ballysax Stakes, Answered was doing all his best work in the latter stages. Although a winner of his Curragh maiden over a mile in March, Jim Bolger's colt will surely come into his own over a stiff 12 furlongs this summer. There was plenty to like about the way he knuckled down to the job from an unpromising position two furlongs out.
AROD ATR Tracker
(Windsor, 14th April)
Annihilated his rivals with a commanding victory and Peter Chapple-Hyam will be aiming his sights considerably higher this summer (holds a Dante entry). This was only a minor 1m 2f maiden but the manner of Arod's success certainly quickened the pulse.
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