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.
CHARLIE WELLS ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 10 December)
Although a winner over 10f at Newmarket in August, Charlie Wells stays this trip of two miles and runs the track well. However, Eve Johnson Houghton's gelding was hopelessly positioned turning for home and did well to almost grab third spot behind well-touted Ridgeway Storm. Charlie Wells probably doesn't have much up his sleeve off a mark of 77 but should remain competitive
RYDAN ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 10 December)
Was facing a very stiff task conceding lumps of weight to another progressive three-year-old in Godolphin's apprentice-ridden winner Anglophile, but Rydan shaped well enough in fifth, despite never being put into the race with a shout. A six-length winner in September, Rydan didn't escape the handicapper's retribution, but he still has more to offer.
COILLTE CAILIN ATR Tracker
(Wolverhampton, 12 December)
A regular here on Polytrack and has adapted well to the new Tapeta surface. Coillte Cailin scored over this extended nine-furlong trip in late October and ran well under her penalty six days later when chasing home Pivotman (winner since). She ran into a rampant Persona Grata and consistent yardstick Lean On Pete here but again travelled well throughout.
STANDING OVATION ATR Tracker
(Cheltenham, 12 December)
Normally a very sure-footed fencer, it was therefore a surprise to see him exiting at the third last in this 3m 2f handicap won by Benbane Head. David Pipe's seven-year-old had helped force the pace from flagfall and was still in the firing line when departing. Standing Ovation is at his best on good ground or faster, so connections will need to cherry-pick their races, but the seven-year-old remains reasonably treated.
SCARBOROUGH ATR Tracker
(Southwell, 13 December)
Looked very much a winner-in-waiting after posting an encouraging third to Royal Bajan in this five-furlong handicap. Hayley Turner settled Mick Appleby's three-year-old just behind the leaders and the first two had flown by the time Scarborough found adequate racing room. This was the filly's first run following a 59-day break and it is worth recalling she posted a 10-length success over course and distance in April.
COUNTERPROOF ATR Tracker
(Wolverhampton, 15 December)
John Gosden's colt was heavily-backed to break his maiden at the third attempt and it proved easy money. Nicky Mackay was intent on making it a sound gallop for this son of Authorized and wisely took the bull by the horns when the pacesetters tried to drop anchor down the back straight. Sent about his business fully six furlongs from home, Counterproof was never in the slightest danger thereafter, scoring by a comfortable three lengths. He could make up into a useful handicapper.
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