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.
CHESHIRE OAKS SECOND IS EACH-WAY VALUE FOR EPSOM
(Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks)
Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand captured the headlines by making all under Ryan Moore but runner-up Forever Together ran an equally promising race.
Donnacha O’Brien found himself trapped in a pocket when Magic Wand kicked clear off the bend but stayed on stoutly.
Quotes of 16-1 for the Oaks represent excellent each-way value, especially the way O’Brien’s horses usually improve for a run.
LOOKS A MILLION
(Boodles Diamond Handicap)
Having her first start in handicap company, Looks A Million blasted out of the stalls and appeared to have taken full advantage of her rails pitch until Spoof arrived late on the scene.
The filly had been contesting Listed sprints following a novice stakes victory at Sandown last June and appreciated this slight drop in class.
She could be the type to catch early in the season when there is a little juice in the ground.
(Partner Tech Handicap)
One of several horses slightly impeded as the jockeys scrambled for room in a messy race, with gutsy winner Fast Dancer enjoying a clear run steered wide.
Al Destoor stayed at the one pace into seventh and Jennie Candlish’s gelding would have preferred some cut underfoot.
He likes Chester, scoring by five lengths at the Roodee last June (soft) and chasing home Alexander M on a return visit in September.
(Abbey Logistics Handicap)
Dragons Tail got loose before the start but no harm was done as he fairly bolted out of the gate.
Winner Another Batt sat on his tail and the race developed into a match from a long way out.
Nobleman’s Nest was dropped in from his problematic draw in stall 12, with Oisin Murphy making some headway on the rails into a fairly distant fifth.
Nobleman’s Nest scored twice last year on easy ground, at Newmarket and Doncaster, and the handicapper just needs to relent a little for Simon Crisford’s colt to rediscover his competitive edge.
(YCO Apprentice Handicap)
A winner on the Fibresand this winter, Jabbaar was nicely backed for this 1m 4f contest.
Jamie Gormley bustled him along from the gate as Jabbaar found things happening just a bit too quickly, but the attractive chestnut stayed on strongly into third behind enterprisingly-ridden Star Of The East.
Jabbaar would have preferred a more testing surface (won at Catterick on soft last October) and Iain Jardine can find him a similar contest up north under the right conditions.
(188Bet Chester Cup)
Went one place better than last year by hunting up wide-margin winner Magic Circle and although difficult to place, Hughie Morrison usually finds him a race either at home or abroad.
Fun Mac has turned up at Royal Ascot for the past three years, being just denied by Clondaw Warrior in the 2017 Ascot Stakes and last year running fifth to Oriental Fox in the Queen Alexandra Stakes from a very wide draw (outclassed in-between in the Gold Cup).
The handicapper has had Fun Mac pegged for quite a while and the employment of a useful apprentice may be the way to go at next month’s royal fixture.