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.
ALAADEL CAN CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR BRONZE CUP SEVENTH
(Sandown, 19 September)
Failed by only a short head when denied by Rajinsky over course and distance at the end of August but made no mistake second-time out under a firm ride from Tom Marquand.
Alert punters noted that the fifth horse on that debut run, Alrajaa, had run very well in defeat across the card at Yarmouth and smashed Walkinthesand into 13-8 from 5-2.
That market support was rewarded, with Richard Hannon’s colt well on top through the final 100 yards.
Guildhall, the third horse behind Rajinsky, justified favouritism at Ayr last Friday, so that contest is working out well.
(Ayr, 20 September)
Well-supported in the ring on the back of a previous easy course victory on deep ground, but this shorter 1m 5f trip just found him out.
Buonarroti was dropped right out from his very wide draw and had a lot of ground to make up off the home bend.
The top weight stayed on gamely only to lose out in a tight finish, and compensation may await granted similar underfoot conditions.
(Newbury, 21 September)
Underlined Andrew Balding’s hot streak with a fine performance in defeat, finding 25-1 newcomer Raakib Alhawa just too strong in the closing stages (pair clear).
Dashing Willoughby, a son of Nathaniel, probably appreciated the pre-race showers and the form of his winning debut at Wolverhampton when mastering odds-on Al Mureib appears very solid, with five lengths third Artois running out a clear-cut winner at Kempton three weeks later.
(Ayr, 21 September)
High drawn horses dominated the finish to the William Hill Bronze Cup, so Alaadel did quite well to finish seventh from his single-figure stall.
Having his third outing for Stuart Williams, Alaadel would have finished a good bit closer had Harry Bentley managed to find some racing room over a furlong out.
He is one to be with on deep ground this autumn having outpointed Baron Bolt at Newbury (soft) last October when trained by William Haggas.
FELIX THE POET
(Wolverhampton, 22 September)
Showed distinct promise on his Ascot debut 15 days earlier (fourth) and Archie Watson’s two-year-old made no mistake in this 1m novice stakes.
Hollie Doyle rode a textbook race, jumping Felix The Poet out smartly from a wide draw and sitting handy throughout.
She had only to push her mount clear a furlong out and although the task was made easier by the late withdrawal of favourite Dubai Icon, this was a very pleasing performance.
(Leicester, 24 September)
Made all under a confident ride from Jack Mitchell, accelerating early in the straight to put this 1m 4f novice stakes to bed with authority.
Godolphin’s Forest View shaped promisingly in second but was well held by Outbox, a winner 19 days earlier on his debut for Simon Crisford at Ffos Las.