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.
FERIK'S RATING UNDERESTIMATES HIS ABILITY
(Sandown, 19 July)
Been seen only twice since beating 13 rivals in a one-mile maiden at Kempton just before Christmas and left behind a modest Windsor effort by chasing home the well-treated and progressive Eynhallow.
Hughie Morrison’s three-year-old made steady headway into second spot and Buzz, a son of Motivator, could pick up a handicap before too long.
(Leicester, 20 July)
Not a bad stamp of a two-year-old running in the colours of Simon Munir for trainer David Evans.
Ferik was touched off at Chepstow 16 days earlier and again came out second-best on his handicap debut, running on stoutly to close down hotpot Ventura Knight near the line.
A rating of 74 possibly underestimates his ability.
CALL TO MIND
(Hamilton, 21 July)
Disputed morning favouritism with hat-trick seeking Defoe but was easy to back before the Listed Glasgow Stakes over 1m 3f.
The market got it right as Defoe powered clear of trailblazing Frankuus, back on track wearing first-time blinkers, and the Queen’s Galileo colt Call To Mind.
Paul Hanagan had Call To Mind in the perfect spot hitting the rising ground but his mount couldn’t engage an extra gear before staying on close home.
It had been a similar story on his previous start when sixth to Permian in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and Call To Mind may need to try a longer trip.
(Market Rasen, 22 July)
Ran a fine race in the Betfred Summer Plate Handicap Chase, arriving on the scene with a big chance two out before fading into fourth.
Ian Williams’s seven-year-old landed two competitive novice chases last December at Ascot, then at Kempton on Boxing Day when beating Two Taffs.
Poker School clearly enjoys racing right-handed and should be in for another rewarding campaign.
(Lingfield, 22 July)
Placed on her previous two starts, Sweet Pursuit went one better in convincing style in this 6f amateur riders’ handicap.
Joanna Mason, one of the most talented and dependable riders in the unpaid ranks, had Sweet Pursuit quickly into her stride and the race was all over bar the shouting when the favourite went to the front two out.
Sweet Pursuit can score again in this lowly grade, especially when there is a bit of cut underfoot.
(Ayr, 24 July)
A pedestrian pace was all against Gworn as he languished at the rear of the field turning for home, but the locally-trained gelding stayed on well into second spot.
His jockey never resorted to the whip on ground that was as quick as Gworn would like and no doubt the seven-year-old will be back here for another bash in the weeks ahead.
Gworn beat Kasperenko and old rival Royal Regent over course and distance in June, with the winner subsequently hacking up under a confident ride at Doncaster.
He saw no daylight down on the rail on his penultimate run and deserves a change of luck.