Eyecatchers (23 June)

Past Eyecatchers Space Age (9-1), Peace Prize (8-1), Gran Canaria Queen (7-1), Arab Dawn (6-1), Red Charmer (9-2), Advanced (9-2), Flag War (9-4), Next Approach (5-6), Spryt (8-11) won in the last fortnight and Alan has shortlisted ten from Royal Ascot.

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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.

(Windsor Castle Stakes, 16 June)
A debut winner over course and distance the previous month, Steady Pace was sent off favourite on the back of his subsequent third to King Of Rooks and Buratino in the National Stakes at Sandown. The Godolphin colt threw down his challenge from the furlong pole but could never quite get to grips with Washington DC and Areen. There was a significant pace bias, with tearaway Ruby Notion edging to the far side, and with the first two drawn 6 and 3, Steady Pace did very well from the less favourable 14 box.
(Royal Hunt Cup, 17 June)
The dual Cambridgeshire winner thrives in these cavalry charges but forcing tactics cost him dearly as he faded into seventh. Bronze Angel is habitually held up for a late swoop so it was a surprise to see him sitting in the slipstream of the clear leader a long way from home. Briefly striking the front a furlong out, the six-year-old was quickly swallowed up and this was yet another tip-top performance.
(Royal Hunt Cup, 17 June)
Brian Ellison's gelding picked up plenty of plaudits for a striking effort in fourth. Drawn near the shunned stands' rail, his jockey resisted the temptation to make a dramatic switch right and Balty Boys fairly rattled home in splendid isolation. Returned here to a more suitable trip after finishing fifth to Telescope over 12 furlongs at Newbury, Balty Boys continued his trainer's fine run of form.
(Sandringham Handicap, 17 June)
The Queen's home-bred filly was a victim of circumstance, restrained some way off the pace set by Sulaalaat and finding herself just too far out of her ground when the race reached boiling point. Running on gallantly into third in what looked a very good renewal, Touchline is being brought along steadily by Michael Bell.
(Queen Mary Stakes, 17 June)
Connections must have been desperately disappointed to have ran into an American monster in Acapulco but this was a smashing effort from Michael Dods's filly. Easton Angel, a winner on both her starts, burst through a tight gap on the far side and was closing down the winner all the way to the line. She may well have appreciated easier ground, so this was a heck of a performance.
(Britannia Stakes, 18 June)
Set this much tougher assignment by Sir Michael Stoute after hacking up in a Leicester maiden, Quick Defence emerged with plenty of credit in seventh place behind War Envoy. Racing up the stands' side, Quick Defence found interference under Joel Rosario but ran on to finish second of his group. He looks a steady improver, perhaps over slightly further.
(King George V Stakes, 18 June)
Could never quite get to grips with brilliantly-ridden winner Space Age, but is certainly on the upgrade. Scottish was stepping into a handicap for the first time after landing a Newbury maiden from John Gosden's subsequent winner Keble and can only get better as he learns his craft.
(Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes, 19 June)
The Godolphin colt had something to prove after an abysmal show in the Chester Cup, so it was reassuring to see Famous Kid getting back on track with a promising seventh to Arab Dawn. James Doyle encountered traffic problems early in the straight, with Famous Kid still travelling quite strongly, and he should stay a bit further than this 1m 4f trip.
(Wolferton Handicap, 20 June)
Only seventh behind heavily-supported Mahsoob but there was encouragement for the future. First Flight saw little daylight emerging from stall one and couldn't navigate a clear passage in the straight. With less than four lengths covering the first 10 runners, this was all a bit messy but First Flight is worth persevering with on this evidence.
(Wokingham Handicap, 20 June)
Stuart Williams's gelding won a decent event at Leicester on heavy ground last October but has found life a bit difficult on quicker surfaces so far this summer. Suzi's Connoisseur was driven up to lead a small group racing on the far rail and looked in overall command for a while until weakening into 12th spot. He hadn't run badly in the Victoria Cup on his previous start and a return to seven furlongs may help.

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.

Eyecatchers (23 June)
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