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.
CROSS COUNTER WON AT WOLVES IN A CANTER
(Hereford, 16 January)
Provided conditional jockey Fergus Gregory with an armchair ride on his comeback from a head injury sustained at Towcester in November.
Brewin’upastorm, winner of his sole point in Ireland, was always cantering over his rivals in the bumper, readily drawing clear of decent yardstick Portrush Storm, and this son of Milan can go on to better things for red-hot Olly Murphy.
A nice prospect for the Olly Murphy team - £250,000 buy Brewin'Upastorm wins on his first start under Rules in tidy style at @HerefordRaces... @O_J_murphy91 pic.twitter.com/Pye4Cx1na0
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) January 16, 2018
NIGH OR NEVER
(Hereford, 16 January)
Modest on the level and sent off at 66-1 and 33-1 on his previous two starts over hurdles, but this was much more encouraging from the Rebecca Curtis-trained four-year-old.
Nigh Or Never became locked in a dogfight with winner Royal Zanzibar from the home turn and despite fiddling the last, he battled all the way to the line (pair clear).
(Newbury, 17 January)
Nico de Boinville did a professional job settling his hard-pulling mount (hooded as usual) before making steady headway to lead before the last flight.
Whatswrongwithyou knuckled down to hold favourite and stablemate Ok Corral quite cosily and he is going the right way.
(Lingfield, 19 January)
Punters supported Richard Guest’s sprinter into favouritism for the Betway Sprint Handicap but never really got a run for their money, with Udontdodou racing well off the pace and edging wide on the home bend as impressive winner Kachy kicked for home.
Undontdoduo, a four-time winner at Chelmsford City, may not have handled this sharper circuit.
(Chepstow, 19 January)
Venetia Williams has been finding winners hard to come by but she must have been thrilled by this performance.
Becausehesaidso, slightly eased in grade, produced an exhibition round of jumping, making virtually all under Charlie Deutsch for a 14 lengths victory.
Hopefully, this was a watershed moment for the stable and they can make up for lost time in 2018.
(Wolverhampton, 22 January)
Clearly well at home on the Tapeta after making a winning debut here in early December, Cross Counter enjoyed little more than an exercise canter to outclass his rivals under a confident Adam Kirby.
Charlie Appleby’s colt looks smart and can make his mark at a higher level.