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.
WELSH CHAMPION HURDLE FIFTH CH’TIBELLO CAN COLLECT OFF HIS REDUCED HANDICAP MARK
(Leicester, 16 October)
Ryan Moore’s posture always exuded confidence on Sir Michael Stoute’s gelding and the race was over once he had manoeuvred his mount to the outside.
This was only a moderate handicap (raced off 76) but the son of Frankel appeared to have benefited from an 83-day break. A follow-up is on the cards.
(Nottingham, 17 October)
Edged left under pressure in this mile maiden, but came home a clear second-best to impressive favourite Mannaal.
The front two drew well clear of the pack and Karl Burke’s filly should pick up a similar contest on an easy surface.
(Carlisle, 18 October)
Appeared very well treated on his Flat form in this conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle and favourite backers were rewarded at generous odds of 4-1.
Dale Irving bided his time before pushing Zabeel Star clear over the last flight and the six-year-old must be followed in this mood.
The track was riding good to soft but Zabeel Star wouldn’t want it too testing.
(Catterick, 20 October)
Rattled off a hat-trick of wins during July/August and ran another splendid race on ground too soft in this £22,000 William Hill Dash.
Classic Pursuit goes particularly well for 5lb claimer Theodore Ladd and, after taking a bump at the start, the gelding did well to latch on to the leaders before fading into seventh.
Beaten less than two lengths, Classic Pursuit may well be placed to win again by Mick Appleby.
(Ffos Las, 20 October)
Judging by jockey bookings and the betting market, Ch’Tibello was Dan Skelton’s second-string in the Dunraven Group Welsh Champion Hurdle and he duly finished one place behind stablemate Mohaayed in fifth spot.
The race was won with some authority by well-backed Silver Streak but Ch’Tibello, having his first start in 182 days, was given a positive ride before fading from two out.
He wasn’t disgraced in Graded company last season and the 2016 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner can win off this slightly reduced handicap mark.
(Ascot, 20 October)
Found the combination of a 6lb penalty plus a bad draw in stall 23 in the highly competitive Balmoral Handicap too burdensome but emerged with credit in seventh.
John Gosden’s colt had won with a bit in hand at Kempton four days earlier and despite Frankie Dettori being unable to find any cover from his exposed flank on the stands’ side, Argentello was still in with a shout at the furlong pole before fading.
He is pretty smart.