Previous Eyecatchers to lift the winter gloom last week were Cornerstone Lad (7-1), Benbatl (7-4), Mr Whipped (6-4) , Dark Alliance (5-4), Robin Of Locksley (6-5) plus Mount Tahan (evens) and form expert Alan Thomson has pinpointed six promising performers from the past seven days.

  • Tuesday 16 January
  • Blog
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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.


(Catterick, 11 January)

The winner of a three-mile maiden at Ayr on heavy ground, Billy Bronco appreciated this test of stamina when chasing home impressive I Just Know in the North Yorkshire Grand National.

Adam Wedge was happy to bide his time before gradually working Billy Bronco into contention down the back straight for the final time.

Although no match for the winner, Billy Bronco stayed on willingly on only his eighth career start and the seven-year-old has a future in these long-distances chases for Evan Williams.

(Huntingdon, 12 January)

Nicky Henderson’s recruit from Guillaume Macaire’s French academy produced a flawless display of fencing and kept up a remorseless gallop from a long way out.

The winning distances were 10 lengths and 16 respectively, and Terrefort is set for a sharp elevation in class. Runner-up Bentelimar is no mug, so this was quite a startling UK introduction.

(Newcastle, 12 January)

A promising fourth on his Kempton debut in mid-December, Dubai Acclaim was a bit unfortunate to run into what looked an above-average all-weather newcomer in Stone Of Destiny.

Dubai Acclaim struck the front two out, with Jack Garritty sitting pretty, and Richard Fahey’s colt appeared to have them all cooked until the winner swept past close home.

(Lingfield, 13 January)

Mick Easterby’s northern raider drew the widest stall in this decent Class 2 handicap and that ultimately compromised his chance.

Tom Marquand tucked the seven-year-old in off a steady pace and was closing fast when running out of room in the final 50 yards, eventually finishing fifth to in-form Goring.

Qaffaal has won five times on the all-weather and is one to follow in the weeks ahead.

(Kempton, 13 January)

Ran sixth in the 32Red Lanzarote Hurdle, arriving on the scene under Lucy Gardner with every chance before clattering the penultimate flight. Coeur Blimey, still only a six-year-old, faded out of the picture and probably didn’t stay this 2m 5f trip.

He will be interesting when dropped in distance on his preferred soft surface.

(Wolverhampton, 15 January)

Stepping into a handicap off a 63 rating, Takeonefortheteam was taken off his feet by all-the-way winner Snaffled before running on strongly into second under stable apprentice Ryan Holmes.

The gelding had shown promise on his three earlier career starts and is one to note in similar Class 6 contests around six furlongs.

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