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.
TREVOR HEMMINGS'S BURTONS WELL LOOKS LIKE A GAME CHASER
ROBIN OF LOCKSLEY
(Uttoxeter, 19 October)
This was a very pleasing chasing debut on his fourth start for Caroline Bailey since leaving Dan Skelton.
Robin Of Locksley was sent off a 20-1 chance, which appeared generous given his solid hurdles form on the prevailing testing ground.
He jumped off in front and made a brave attempt to make all, only succumbing to Sir Ivan between the last two fences.
(Wincanton, 20 October)
Looked to have a future when winning a bumper at last year’s Scottish Grand National fixture at Ayr, but he failed to build on that debut success when sent hurdling.
Consequently, Gibbes Bay has been handed an attractive mark of 114 and Paul Nicholls’s five-year-old was a 2-1 shot to land this 2m 3f novices’ handicap hurdle on his return to action.
Always handy, Gibbes Bay led two out but had no answer when Arty Campbell loomed up at the last.
There was no disgrace in defeat as he was conceding a thumping 20lb to the battle-hardened winner.
(Redcar, 20 October)
Stepped up on a promising debut at Sandown the previous month (second) with a commanding success in this mile novice stakes.
Ed Walker’s colt was keen early but outclassed his rivals when asked to stretch from the two-furlong pole.
Stephensons Rocket, a strapping grey, could be even better on a sounder surface and is a youngster to follow next season.
SEE YOU MUSH
(Newcastle, 20 October)
Adam Beschizza drove his mount into the lead over a furlong out but couldn’t shake off Captain Hawk, eventually losing out on the nod.
See You Mush was returning from a 51-day break and should soon be adding to his previous all-weather success at Chelmsford City back in April.
(Stratford, 21 October)
A dual winner on deep ground, Burtons Well could have done with a few more showers before this 2m 5f handicap chase.
Given a patient ride, Burtons Well arrived on the scene to strike the front early in the straight.
However, Venetia Williams’s gelding was collared at the last by Romain De Senam, going down by a neck in a driving finish.
Venerable owner Trevor Hemmings loves these tough chasing types and his eight-year-old should give him plenty of fun this season.
(Market Rasen, 21 October)
This was easy money for punters who availed themselves of even-money odds as Capitaine ripped his rivals to pieces.
Paul Nicholls’s French-bred gelding ended last season on a high with victories at Wincanton and Newton Abbot, and this exercise gallop makes him of interest if fulfilling an engagement at Cheltenham on Friday.
It’s possibly worth recording, however, that Capitaine’s very best form has come on right-handed circuits, as he showed when also scoring at Ascot and running second at Sandown last season.