Court Minstrel (14-1) was flagged up last month for the totepool Silver Trophy at Chepstow and did the business along with other previous Eyecatchers Eartha Kit (5-1), Shantou Rock (7-2), Ghaiyyath (11-4), Rock The Kasbah (2-1) and A Genie In Abottle (6-4) and form expert Alan Thomson has shortlisted six to follow from Chepstow’s Jumps season curtain-raiser.

  • Tuesday 17 October
  • 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.


(Chepstow, 14 October)

One of the best novice hurdles of the season so far and the first three home all emerged with flying colours.

Robbie Power appeared to be in cruise control approaching three out but Lostintranslation left his hind legs behind on landing, forfeiting the lead to favourite Dynamite Dollars.

Lostintranslation rallied and took advantage of a mistake by Dynamite Dollars at the penultimate flight to throw down a determined challenge.
The first two locked horns up the run-in, with Lostintranslation having to settle for second spot behind a resolute winner.

Fleminport, hopelessly outpaced at the top of the straight, stayed on powerfully into third and it will be interesting to see how this form pans out as the jumps season hits full stride.

(Chepstow, 14 October)

Won a mares’ bumper at the Welsh track on good ground in April and her sixth to If You Say Run was a slightly disappointing hurdling debut.

Aidan Coleman brought Majestic Moll under pressure early in the straight and there was no response.

Emma Lavelle’s mare is probably a bit better than this run.

(Chepstow, 14 October)

Did well last season, mopping up three races early in 2017 for Philip Hobbs, and his sixth place in the totepool Silver Trophy offered plenty of encouragement for another productive campaign.

Sent off a relatively unconsidered 25-1 shot, Louis’ Vac Pouch made a mistake early and was detached for much of the race until running on stoutly between the last two flights.

Still only a five-year-old, he should come on for this first start since scoring at Market Rasen in April.

(Chepstow, 15 October)

Jumped like an old hand on her chasing debut, with Wayne Hutchinson oozing confidence before giving his mount some rein to lead running down to the last fence.

Mia’s Storm was an impressive winner of the Pertemps Network Long Distance Handicap Hurdle at Haydock in May and all her best form has come on good ground.

(Chepstow, 15 October)

This Irish bumper winner for Robert Tyner cost new connections £270,000 and he made a very pleasing start for Colin Tizzard in the totepool Persian War Novices’ Hurdle.

Vision Des Flos travelled comfortably until caught on heels slightly and shuffled back on the home bend.

Although ultimately no match for well-backed winner Poetic Rhythm and strong traveller Amour De Nuit, the raw talent of Vision Des Flos was evident as he ran on stoutly into third, despite a clumsy leap two out.

(Chepstow, 15 October)

Caused a 50-1 upset when landing the Topham over the Grand National fences but that was no fluke as Ultragold was also a worthy winner at Newbury’s Hennessy fixture last November.

He was on and off the bridle at various stages of this 2m 3f handicap chase but stayed on to fill the minor placing behind smart Romain De Senam and solid yardstick Double Shuffle.

Ultragold seems best when encountering good ground.

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