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.
LEGION D'HONNEUR ATR Tracker
(Exeter, 11 November)
Seems to have been around for ages (a winner on the Flat for ex-trainer Len Lungo) but Legion D'Honneur can still raise a good gallop. Kicked into the lead four out, Chris Down's 10-year-old was clearly well tuned up after a 91-day break as he forged clear on his first run over fences for quite some time (usually campaigned over hurdles).
GLACIAL ROCK ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 11 November)
Has had issues as this was only his fourth start since winning a Towcester bumper on Boxing Day, 2012 (heavy) for Graeme McPherson. Now with Alistair Whillans, the nine-year-old had run well in defeat at Perth in May before another fairly lengthy absence. Glacial Rock travelled strongly on this comeback over 2m 5f before hitting the wall before two out and he retains plenty of ability if his career is back on track.
VAN DYKE ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 11 November)
Hughie Morrison's colt made a highly satisfactory debut in this mile maiden, chasing home well-touted Prince Of Arran. Van Dyke was able to take advantage of his low draw by taking up a handy slot behind the leaders and he came home strongly. Probably not the strongest of events but a promising first effort nonetheless.
RED STRIPES ATR Tracker
(Southwell, 12 November)
Consistently performs well at Chelmsford but proved his adaptability with a solid effort on the Fibresand. Red Stripes could never quite get to grips with impressive winner Snow Cloud in this five-furlong handicap but Brian Meehan has a few options this winter.
PITON PETE ATR Tracker
(Taunton, 12 November)
Blew-out completely on his sole start last season at Uttoxeter but trainer Oliver Sherwood felt Piton Pete would be a different proposition this year. His judgement was pretty accurate as Piton Pete (33-1) got the message late in the day, running on strongly into third in the bumper won by Blu Cavalier. Hopefully, he can build on this.
TOWERING ATR Tracker
(Cheltenham, 15 November)
Twice a winner this summer on a sound surface before landing a 16-runner Cheltenham handicap in October. The rain that fell over the weekend didn't do Towering any favours but the six-year-old travelled strongly before finishing fairly tamely in fifth. Nicky Henderson will probably shy clear of testing conditions and Towering may be seen to better effect in the spring.
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