Eyecatchers (22 December)

Previous Eyecatchers Bayan (14-1) and Pine Creek (10-1) fought out a thriller in the Ladbroke Hurdle - other winners last week were Patriotic (8-1), Kilcooley (11-2), Ptit Zig (6-4) and The Pirate's Queen (11-8). Alan has six more for your Tracker.

  • Monday 22 December
  • Blog
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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.

(Lingfield, 17 December)
Pulled clear of her rivals along with John Gosden's duo Falling Petals and Nancy Astor, and this was a most satisfactory debut in third. Charlie Appleby's filly proved quite keen in the early stages and this experience will not be lost on her.
(Southwell, 18 December)
Doughty seasoned campaigner with plenty of Fibresand form to his credit over the years. David O'Meara pitched him into quite a hot handicap won by Patriotic and although only fifth, Toto Skyllachy wasn't knocked about as he put plenty of distance between himself and his closest rival in sixth. Will continue to pay his way.
(Ascot, 19 December)
Making his first start since recording a debut success for Colin Tizzard at Wincanton in April, Thistlecrack wilted when the pace quickened off the bend. The first three home in this Listed bumper, Supasundae, Yanworth and Rio Treasure, look pretty smart so Thistlecrack didn't shape too badly in fifth. He is in the right hands to progress to better things, probably over a trip in excess of this two miles.
(Wolverhampton, 19 December)
Showed bits and pieces of turf form for Scobie Jardine, but stepped up for this first experience of Tapeta with a clear-cut victory. The improvement was clearly anticipated by connections as Archipeligo was well found in the betting market and the three-year-old has more to offer this winter.
(Ascot, 20 December)
Has come a long way in a short time since scraping home in a two-mile Wolverhampton handicap in January for previous handler Mick Appleby, so much so that Shelford was heavily backed to land The Ladbroke handicap hurdle. Helping to force a strong pace throughout, Shelford effectively help set the race up for several talented closers. Although ultimately just tapped for speed between the last two flights, the five-year-old battled on gamely in fourth. The drying ground would not have been ideal, either, and Shelford has a nice handicap in him.
(Haydock, 20 December)
Like the rest of the vainly pursuing pack, Run Ructions Run was simply blown away by tearaway winner Kilcooley. Tim Easterby's mare beat a useful type in The Pirate's Queen at Newbury last season and has been remarkably consistent in her short career (only once out of the frame in 13 starts since landing a Carlisle bumper on her debut). There is plenty more to come.

Alan Thomson's Eyecatchers column is sponsored by SIS - visit www.sis.tv for more information on a range of services for bookmaker and punter.

Eyecatchers (22 December)
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