Guns Of Leros (13-2), Double Touch (5-1), La Fritillaire (9-2), Senza Una Donna (4-1), Sir Valentine (11-4), Cote D'Azur (9-4) plus Van Dyke (1-2) struck for the column last week and form expert Alan Thomson has shortlisted six more promising performers.

  • Tuesday 23 August
  • 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.


(York, 17 August)

Has shown steady improvement since been stepped up in distance and Jamie Osborne’s gelding was in the process of running a fine race in the extended two-miler won by Oceane before being cannoned into by wayward The Cashel Man over a furlong out.

Less Ordinary, a Sandown winner over 1m 6f, eventually came home in eighth spot and may not be finished for the season.

(York, 17 August)

Bounced back from a tame effort at Goodwood to put down a marker for a repeat Cambridgeshire Handicap success in the autumn.

Third Time Lucky travelled strongly off a searching gallop but couldn’t quicken with winner Firmament when a gap presented itself over a furlong out.

Richard Fahey’s gelding finished fifth and considering the ground would have been lively enough, this was a solid effort.

Third Time Lucky pipped Master The World in last year’s Cambridgeshire off a mark of 95 and was racing off 100 here.

If Fahey chooses to put up star stable apprentice Adam McNamara, Third Time Lucky will be going into the Newmarket cavalry charge off virtually the same mark as he bids to emulate Prince De Galles (1969 and 1970) by landing back-to-back successes in the first leg of the autumn double (more recent dual winners Bronze Angel, Rambo’s Hall and Baronet all had gap years between their triumphs).

(Sandown, 19 August)

Sir Michael Stoute’s colt made a more than satisfactory debut in this seven-furlong maiden won by Deningy.

Pat Dobbs gave his mount plenty of time to recover from a tardy break and City Of Joy made good late headway into fifth spot.

This appeared a warm contest, with runner-up Calibration having finished just behind subsequent impressive York winner Rivet on his debut at Ascot the previous month.

(Salisbury, 19 August)

Philip Hide has an improving juvenile on his hands in the handsome Haulani, the wide-margin winner of this one-mile nursery.

With plenty of American blood in his pedigree, Haulani fairly bounced off the good ground, quickly putting daylight between himself and his rivals after William Twiston-Davies had calmly extricated his mount from a pocket over one out.

He has the scope to do better still in the weeks ahead.

(York, 19 August)

Won his maiden off 83 at Chester towards the end of May and Kevin Ryan threw Heir To A Throne (25-1) into the deep end in this highly competitive Class 2 handicap won by Arcanada.

This was his first try at a mile but there seemed no stamina concerns as Shane Gray tracked a breakneck pace set by Bobby Wheeler.

The leader dropped away quickly over a furlong out but Heir To A Throne hung around for a bit longer before fading into seventh.

Things won’t always be as formidable as this assignment.

(York, 20 August)

Has gone 14 months since recording his last win (at Chester off 93) but Mark Johnston’s durable six-year-old keeps knocking at the door.

The handicapper has taken an age to loosen his grip (ran off 83 here) but Sennockian Star is well treated now, running a fine race in fourth behind progressive winner Scarlet Dragon.

Andrew Mullen took up a handy position from the ‘off’ but his mount just failed to find extra in the heat of battle, forfeiting third place near the line.

Sennockian Star will pop up in one of these tough handicaps before the end of the season.

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.

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