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.
CAPE BANJO ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 9 December)
Two second prizes from both visits to this track but Ralph Beckett’s gelding ran into the well-supported Towerlands Park (pair clear) after grabbing the early initiative from his wide draw in stall 12. The son of Irish Derby and Champion Stakes winner Cape Blanco is a free-running sort and will always be there to be shot at up front. He seems resolute enough and should make it third time lucky.
CALL TO ORDER ATR Tracker
(Doncaster, 11 December)
Jonjo O’Neill’s five-year-old made a very pleasing hurdling debut behind impressive favourite Winter Escape and ex-Flat handicapper Deauville Dancer, disputing the lead early in the straight before failing to match the finishing kick of the principals. A sloppy jump at the final flight was a sign of tiredness but Call To Order can build on this effort.
MAD JACK MYTTON ATR Tracker
(Cheltenham, 11 December)
Made a good fist of conceding 25lb to winner Solstice Star (completed a four-timer), throwing down his challenge approaching the last and staying on gamely. Mad Jack Mytton has shown his best form on good ground, so this testing surface wasn’t ideal. The five-year-old is going the right way.
REAPING THE REWARD ATR Tracker
(Doncaster, 11 December)
Now approaching his 12th birthday, Reaping The Reward has given owner Ray Green a lot of fun and his winning days may not be over. Reappearing after a break of more than nine months, the gelding crept into the race through the final circuit and was the only conceivable danger to stout stayer Sego Success (jumped well) in the straight. On his previous start Reaping The Reward had chased home last weekend’s wide-margin Cheltenham winner Aachen and this testing surface wouldn’t have been ideal, either. A grand effort.
RONS DREAM ATR Tracker
(Cheltenham, 12 December)
Dropping to 2m 4f after scoring here at the Open Meeting over 3m 1f, Rons Dream found only Lily Waugh too strong after being slightly impeded on the run-in. She was raised 8lb for that earlier success but Peter Bowen’s mare took it in her stride and is most progressive.
WHO DARES WINS ATR Tracker
(Doncaster, 12 December)
A three-time winner in the summer for Richard Hannon, Who Dares Wins is in good jumping hands having joined the Alan King team. This galloping track on deep ground was right up his street and Who Dares Wins simply annihilated heavily-gambled Robertstown. He’ll be stepped up in class but looks an exciting three-year-old to follow.