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.
IT'S A SHREWD MOVE TO FOLLOW IAIN JARDINE'S QUEEN'S CUP RUNNER
The track was riding pretty slick and it paid to be handy, so Curzon Line did well to finish fifth of the 13 runners having found himself out of his ground turning for home.
Mick Easterby's gelding, a facile scorer at Chelmsford in November, would have given winner Bahamian Bird something to think about if talented apprentice Nathan Evans hadn't been stopped in his tracks throughout the final furlong.
Seven-furlong specialist Curzon Line remains in good form for a stable riding the crest of a wave.
Clive Cox has his string well forward and there was a rush of cash for his two-year-old debutant.
Chagatai’s many backers must have had kittens, with the gelding being bumped emerging from the stalls and running into all sorts of trouble from two out.
The gap came in the nick of time and Sam Hitchcott forced his mount up on the line with a desperate lunge.
Well supported to make a winning reappearance for Iain Jardine in the competitive Queen’s Cup but could never get into the shake-up.
Shrewd, a dual course winner over hurdles, may just have needed the outing and last year’s Ebor runner-up could also have found the ground just a little too lively, with winner Carbon Dating, fit from a winter in Dubai, kicking a few lengths clear two out and leaving the hold-up horses with too much ground to make up.
The stable saddled last year’s Chester Cup runner-up Nakeeta and it would be no surprise to see Shrewd running a big race at the Roodee next month if getting some luck with the draw.
Scored on his debut at Thirsk in August and Richard Fahey’s gelding made a promising start to 2017 when finishing sixth to stable companion Cullingworth in the Royal Mile Handicap.
Society Red travelled well and threatened to take a hand in the finish before his run petered out quite tamely. His next run will tell us a bit more.
Pat Dobbs secured a lovely position on Ralph Beckett’s filly but Crowning Glory found this Listed company too hot to handle, eventually beating only two home.
Her mark of 93 was gained on the back of three victories last season and she might need a little slack from the assessor. Crowning Glory was beaten just over five lengths, however, and should benefit for a return to turf.
All three career wins have come over five furlongs on fast ground and Kevin Ryan’s gelding travelled comfortably until fading into seventh spot behind Wentworth Falls.
Lack of peak condition may have told over this six-furlong trip and he should be destined for another successful season. Laughton was only 3lb higher her e than when landing a 19-runner handicap at Glorious Goodwood, so he remains on a competitive mark.