WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.
MAGIC J’S U.S BLOODLINES INDICATE MORE OPTIONS ON SYNTHETIC SURFACES
(Southwell, 16 October)
Ed Vaughan’s three-year-old was slightly baulked and had to be switched by Cieren Fallon shortly after the break.
Magic J held every chance without mustering enough speed to worry the winner and five furlongs may have been on the sharp side as he was strong at the finish when scoring over six furlongs on debut at Yarmouth last September.
His American bloodlines point to more opportunities coming his way on synthetic surfaces.
(Southwell, 16 October)
Owner John Dance has enjoyed some marquee moments with his super-filly Laurens and while Hareem Queen will never hit such dizzy heights, she is one to follow as her career progresses.
A nicely-bred filly by Dark Angel out of a Shamardal mare, Hareem Queen routed some modest rivals in this 5f maiden on only her third career start and clocked a time marginally quicker than 87-rated Saaheq had recorded 30 minutes earlier.
(Carlisle, 17 October)
Perhaps memories of Multellie’s less-than-impressive previous attempt over hurdles at Wetherby’s 2017 Boxing Day fixture put punters off, but 25-1 was quite an insulting price in this Novices’ Hurdle for a horse which had won handsomely over 1m 4f handicap at Hamilton last month.
Tim Easterby’s gelding jumped much better under Jamie Hamilton and disputed the lead from the home turn before asserting at the final flight for a six lengths victory.
He could be interesting in handicaps.
(Newcastle, 18 October)
The son of Shamardal didn’t look badly treated on a mark of 75 for his handicap debut, an observation not lost on those shrewd punters who backed James Tate’s colt into 2-1 favourite.
There was never a worry as P J McDonald took his mount to the front over a furlong out and Futuristic fairly stretched clear in the manner of a horse that can win again, possibly over further than this six-furlong trip.
He clocked a decent time into the bargain.
GABRIAL THE SAINT
(Wolverhampton, 18 October)
Richard Fahey’s four-year-old was making his first visit to Dunstall Park and acquitted himself with great credit from the widest stall in this hot 6f handicap.
Despite proving rather intransient at the start, he travelled keenly until Tony Hamilton drove him to the front over a furlong out.
(Wolverhampton, 19 October)
Traveller was very lightly raced on turf during the summer which points to connections planning an autumn/winter all-weather campaign.
The five-year-old had shaped with promise in fourth behind in-form Home Before Dusk at Newcastle eight days before lining up for this mile Class 6 handicap.
Cam Hardie was scrubbing along early in an attempt to overcome a very wide berth and was never looking comfortable with his position.
To his credit, Traveller responded gamely without ever threatening to get to grips with favourite Colonel Slade and he may have more luck with the draw next time.