Eyecatchers

Rise Hall (8-1), Kilbaha Lady (7-1), Getaway Trump (100-30), Secret Investor (2-1), Skandiburg (13-8), Private Secretary (10-11) plus Danse Idol (3-10) were previous Eyecatchers to put a Spring in the step and form expert Thomson has flagged up six horses which recently caught his eye.

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WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.

THIRSK SECOND STARCASTER IS VERSATILE WITH REGARDS TO GROUND

RATHBONE
(Pontefract, 9 April)

Finished runner-up three times last season but looks to have made up into a stronger three-year-old.

Rathbone outclassed his rivals in the paddock and it was the same throughout this 6f novice stakes, with Tom Eaves sitting confidently, racing a little wide, before kicking on over a furlong out.

Kevin Ryan can find Rathbone a handicap in due course.

INDEED
(Newbury, 13 April)

Punters didn’t know much about the Dominic Ffrench Davis-trained four-year-old going into the 26-runner Mansionbet Spring Cup but Indeed won’t be sent off 50-1 in future judged on this sterling effort.

A winner at Longchamp (soft) last April before having only one more outing in France, indeed clearly welcomed the easy ground, with Callum Shepherd pointing him for home fully two furlongs out.

His mount was gradually worn down and beaten a neck by Chatez, another at home on the surface, but Indeed’s effort from stall 17 can be marked up as low numbers took advantage of a significant draw bias (first six were berthed 3, 17, 2, 5, 6, 1).

OCEAN PARADISE
(Newbury, 13 April)

Another 50-1 shot to outrun her odds on the same day.

Ocean Paradise, the only filly in the field, tracked odds-on Raise You throughout this one-mile maiden and they were the only two in the race from a long way out.

Charles Hills will be hoping this wasn’t a fluke and the application of a hood looked to have had the desired effect.

Her second run will tell us more, but the impressive winner clocked a decent time.

STARCASTER
(Thirsk, 13 April)

Jedd O’Keeffe will feel a bit frustrated to have run into King’s Advice, a Mark Johnston horse at the top of his game, as Starcaster was denied a neck on his stable debut, the front pair pulling well clear of another O’Keeffe runner, Desert Ruler

Starcaster, a winner on yielding ground at Chepstow last season when trained by Hughie Morrison, was held up from his wide draw before Jack Mitchell delivered his challenge two out.

The hot favourite had to dig deep to hold on and Starcaster’s ability to also handle quick ground opens up a few doors.

VANBRUGH
(Thirsk, 13 April)

Vanbrugh was well found in the market and dipped under standard as he swept past solid yardsticks Muntadab and So Beloved in the 7f Conditions Stakes.

This was his first start for Charlie Hills following a switch from Andre Fabre, and the American-bred colt clearly relished the quick ground.

Khalid Abdullah’s four-year-old holds an entry in the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes next month over six furlongs, so connections must feel Vanbrugh is not devoid of speed.

AZZURI
(Ayr, 13 April)

Harry Skelton took the bull by the horns, with Azzuri blasting off and never seeing another rival.

The gelding was good enough to run fourth to Uradel at the Galway festival and took full advantage of his tumbling UK mark following a wind procedure.

This dominating performance evoked memories of Martin Pipe’s trailblazers in his heyday and the Skelton team have clearly got hold of the same playbook as they close in on a remarkable 200 winners for the season.

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