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.
SHREWD ATR Tracker
(Musselburgh, 20 January)
Clobbered by the handicapper for his effortless course and distance romp 16 days earlier, Shrewd almost defied a 15lb rise in this better event won by in-form Holly Bush Henry. Ryan Day was again very patient on his mount and Shrewd had quite a bit of leeway to make up turning for home. Iain Jardine’s gelding kept on strongly into third on ground that was a good bit softer than ideal (handled a sounder surface on the Flat) and he remains progressive.
BABY KING ATR Tracker
(Wincanton, 21 January)
Handled soft ground when scoring at Haydock and again ran with credit in the mud here finishing third to Floresco. Tom George’s seven-year-old arrived on the scene with every chance but was conceding lumps of weight (13lb and 26lb respectively) to the first two home.
MR BOSSY BOOTS ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 22 January)
Having his first run since October when scoring at Kempton and Ray Beckett’s gelding ran a very solid fourth to Realize, beaten about a length, in a hot handicap. Ten of his 11 career starts have come on the all-weather and more success beckons.
BALLYNANTY ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 23 January)
Andrew Balding’s four-year-old has been something of a slow-burner and this was only his seventh outing. Unsurprisingly for a son of Yeats, out of a Darshaan mare, this step up to two miles really suited Ballynanty and he can be considered a most unlucky loser as the colt was short of room at a vital stage. Ballynanty was denied by half a length and would have reeled in Anglophile in another few strides.
DARK SIDE PRINCESS ATR Tracker
(Chelmsford, 24 January)
Scored emphatically over course and distance 16 days earlier wearing first-time cheek-pieces and she was a shade unfortunate not to defy a 10lb rise. Dark Side Princess had to be switched over a furlong out after encountering trouble and was closing down improving winner Gorokai close home. Chris Dwyer should find her another opening over this minimum trip.
JACK DILLINGER ATR Tracker
(Leopardstown, 24 January)
Gigginstown’s Village Mystic was well touted beforehand and duly added another bumper success to the never-ending Willie Mullins scoresheet. Equally, Jack Dillinger’s trainer Eddie Harty informed ATR viewers that he nourished big hopes for his horse, especially when sent jumping. In a fascinating duel, the pair had the race to themselves and Jack Dillinger only gave way when faltering slightly and edging right under pressure a furlong out.
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