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.
RICHIE McCAW ATR Tracker
(Beverley, 16 September)
Mark Johnston's newcomer strode out confidently in this seven-furlong maiden, matching strides with eventual runner-up Party Thyme until fading into fourth. Richie McCaw will stay a good bit further in due course and this was a pleasing introduction, even though it appeared a fairly ordinary contest. One for the future.
FENG SHUI ATR Tracker
(Chelmsford, 17 September)
Certainly looks the part and was unlucky to run into very smart Godolphin newcomer Lovely Memory, a quick filly who knew her job all right. Feng Shui had the rest well beaten off and there are better things to come from Jamie Osborne's developing three-year-old.
ZAND ATR Tracker
(Newbury, 19 September)
A four-time winner in Switzerland after starting his racing life as a juvenile Leopardstown winner for John Oxx (soft), Zand can make his mark in Britain for Mark Johnston. After a spell in the doldrums, the handicapper gave Zand a chance here off 92 in the competitive Dubai Duty Free Handicap won by What About Carlo. Settled off the pace following a sluggish break, Zand ran on well into fifth, clearly relishing testing conditions, and he didn't have a lot of racing room close home.
FORCED FAMILY FUN ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 19 September)
The winner of a similar 1m 5f course and distance contest two years earlier, Forced Family Fun ran on into fifth behind 50-1 paddock pick Hardstone. Forced Family Fun would have been better served by softer ground/stronger gallop and this was a solid second run back from a 148-day break. He developed into quite a smart hurdler last season and would have finished closer than seventh in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury but for a blunder two out.
EVANESCENT ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 19 September)
Has proved his liking for Ayr in the past and was hammered into 6-1 (from 10s) shortly before the off. Evanescent ruined his chance by pulling too strongly for his apprentice rider and was a spent force two furlongs out, plugging on into sixth behind Right Touch. John Quinn's gelding has been very lightly raced this season, with another successful autumn campaign probably in mind given his liking for an easier surface.
DRACO'S CODE ATR Tracker
(Leicester, 21 September)
Finished runner-up in all four starts at Lingfield last season (two bumpers and a pair of maidens) but should make his mark before too long. Gary Moore's Galileo gelding made a highly satisfactory return in this 1m 4f maiden won in scintillating fashion by Moderah, a filly very much on the up. Draco's Code, having his first run since February, held every chance until fading into fourth and it will be interesting to see what the handicapper makes of this performance. Third-placed Bellajeu ran off 88 but she was weak in the market and clearly didn't match up to that lofty mark.
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.