Eyecatchers

Rhys Williams reveals the most recent seven runners to have made it into his ATR Tracker.

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Welcome to the attheraces.com Eyecatchers column. Every week Rhys Williams will pinpoint horses primed to strike in the next few weeks, if not days. Remember, you can add Rhys's weekly updates to your ATR Tracker.

RAPPER SET TO STRIKE GOLD

MISS CHESS
3rd - British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race), Yarmouth, Wednesday 15th July

Two newcomers lined up in the two-year-old novice race at Yarmouth and both caught the eye for different reasons. Miss Chess, the only filly in the field, was slowly away and jumped the path in the early stages.

Racing in last place, she was a bit keen until halfway and she was still in last when Hollie Doyle started to nudge away just over two furlongs out. Switched left, she came under stronger driving and gradually closed before being switched left again and she picked up strongly inside the last furlong to be beaten half a length into third.

Considering the clear signs of inexperience early in the race, this was a promising debut from Miss Chess and she can make plenty of progress from it.

BOOMSHALAA
5th - British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race), Yarmouth, Wednesday 15th July

Boomshalaa, drawn on the opposite side to Miss Chess, was also slowly away from the stalls and raced keenly under restraint. Having been slightly hampered by Fast Start stumbling, Andrea Atzeni manoeuvred him furthest to the inside of the group and he made smooth headway to join the leaders with three furlongs to go.

He continued to travel powerfully as others started to come under pressure and once pushed along two furlongs out he went into a clear lead. He was still in front entering the last furlong but started to tire and drift left and ended up fading into fifth.

The manner in which Boomshalaa travelled into the race was encouraging for his future and he shouldn’t be long in getting off the mark, possibly back in trip over six furlongs.

GOLDRAPPER
3rd - Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap Hurdle (Div II), Uttoxeter, Thursday 16th July

Goldrapper showed promise without winning for Katy Price in 2019 and he did so again on his second start for Harry Hogarth at Uttoxeter. Held up in rear for much of the race, he showed a tendency to jump out to the right.

Still at the back of the main group coming down the mound for the final time, he was pushed along just before entering the straight in sixth place. Put under stronger pressure after 3 out, he ran on well and jumped 2 out in a closing fourth but he couldn’t match Prussia With Love in the closing stages and was beaten 4¾ lengths into third.

His performance can be marked up given that he frequently jumped out to the right and I think this was a strong race for the grade. Goldrapper has been put up 2lb to 100 for this but he’s still lightly raced for a seven-year-old and there could be more improvement to come from him when going right-handed. 

TRUSTED ALLY
3rd - Patrickswell (C & G) Maiden (Plus 10 Race), Limerick, Friday 17th July

Trusted Ally was one of only two newcomers in the two-year-old colts and geldings maiden at Limerick and he shaped with plenty of promise in defeat. A shade slowly away from the widest stall, he was dropped out in last place before starting to make some headway turning the bend.

He smoothly made progress into fifth entering the straight and was asked to quicken two furlongs out. He took a while to respond and was still in a share of fourth a furlong out but ran on strongly in the final furlong, despite showing greenness, to be beaten a quarter of a length in third.

This was a promising debut from Trusted Ally against horses that had previously shown a good level of ability. First-season sire Territories has already made a good start and Trusted Ally shouldn’t be long in adding to his tally of winners.

RED DEREK
2nd - Watch On Racing TV Handicap (Div I), Haydock, Saturday 18th July

Red Derek showed encouraging signs when finishing third at Doncaster last month and did so once again at Haydock. He tracked the leader on the inside through the first half of the race before being switched out to have a clear run and encouraged to move closer four furlongs out.

He went to the front with three furlongs to go and still had a share of the lead two furlongs out when he was joined for the lead and put under stronger pressure. He was briefly outpaced before rallying inside the last furlong to get back up for second.

Red Derek is out of a two mile winner on the flat and he shapes like a strong stayer who has needed time to develop, so I expect him to improve once returning to 1m4f and further.

BALLYMAC BOY
4th - Jim Ryan Racecourse Services Handicap Chase, Tipperary, Sunday 19th July

Ballymac Boy’s three runs since the resumption of racing have all featured jumping errors to varying degrees and frequency, including the latest of them at Tipperary. Having initially set off in a prominent position, he made an awful mistake at the third.

His jumping for the next circuit was generally fine but he made an error at the first fence down the back straight on the final circuit and was then sandwiched on landing between rivals at the next. He was in close at the next but recovered to still be in contention turning the final bend. After being down on his nose at 2 out, his chance had gone but he ran on gamely to finish fourth.

Although Ballymac Boy ran very well when only beaten a head by The Trigger three starts ago, that performance also contained mistakes. A switch back to hurdling could see him in a better light and I think he could have success off a low mark in staying handicap hurdles.

FIX THE BILL
2nd - Goffs Supporting Irish Racing Maiden Hurdle (Div II), Gowran Park, Monday 20th July

Fix The Bill ran well on debut in a point to point bumper at Barbury Castle in December and having jumped moderately and looked a blatant non stayer in a maiden at Dungarvan, he returned after 176 days off with a far more encouraging performance at Gowran on hurdling debut. He raced keenly under restraint towards the back of the field through the first half of the race before starting to move a bit closer halfway down the back straight.

He had moved into a closing eighth, still travelling well, by the end of the back straight and started to pick off rivals ahead of him with ease on the side of the track, turning into the straight in fourth. Pushed along after jumping 2 out, he just moved into second at the last and despite making a mistake, ran on well on the run in to be beaten six lengths by With A Start with eleven lengths back to the third.

This race did fall apart to some extent but this was a promising rules debut from Fix The Bill and he showed that two miles over hurdles was a far more suitable test for him at this stage of his career than three miles over fences on soft ground.


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