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.
COEUR DE LION CAN REVERSE CESAREWITCH TRIAL FORM ON TESTING GROUND
KNIGHT TO BEHOLD
(Newbury, 22 September)
Harry Dunlop introduced his Sea The Stars colt in this mile maiden and Knight To Behold certainly outran his 33-1 starting price.
Gradually edging over to the stands’ side under Richard Kingscote, Knight To Behold followed in the slipstream of winner White Mocha before being switched left 100 yards out to deliver a strong challenge, failing by a nose.
(Newbury, 23 September)
Possesses plenty of substance and showed definite promise in finishing fifth to John Gosden’s Fennan in this 7f novice stakes.
Always well placed, Epaulement couldn’t go with the principals from the furlong pole but stayed on to almost snatch fourth spot.
The ‘right’ horses from market signals finished in front of him and Tom Dascombe has a nice type on his hands.
(Newmarket, 23 September)
Hadn’t been seen since scoring over 12 furlongs at HQ some 126 days earlier but that didn’t deter punters from sending her off favourite.
Star Rock took quite a pull under Josephine Gordon and she did well to settle her keen-going mount.
Star Rock was attacked on both sides when let loose over two out but proved too powerful for in-form duo Cribbs Causeway and Lady Bergamot.
Star Rock was strong at the finish, indicating she will stay further than this 1m 4f trip, and Hughie Morrison has the three-year-old entered in a Heritage Handicap back at Newmarket in three weeks’ time.
JE SUIS CHARLIE
(Catterick, 23 September)
Punters couldn’t get enough of this recent easy course and distance winner, forcing Michael Bell’s gelding down to 11-8 favourite. Je Suis Charlie was settled off the pace but was rushed up on the outside on the home bend before striking the front two out.
All seemed under control until Mr Sundowner appeared late on the scene to snatch victory and a more patient ride may have seen Je Suis Charlie back in the Catterick winner’s enclosure.
COEUR DE LION
(Newmarket, 23 September)
Alan King saddled the first two home in this Betfred Cesarewitch Trial and although Coeur De Lion was preferred in the market, he had to concede defeat to Who Dares Wins in an exciting spectacle.
Hollie Doyle anchored Coeur De Lion in rear until making headway to take up the running over three out.
The Barbury Castle duo soon locked horns, with Shrewd pestering them in third, and this looked a rock solid rehearsal for the main event next month.
Considering Coeur De Lion scored on soft/heavy over hurdles before running a highly respectable seventh to Defi Du Seuil in the JCB Triumph Hurdle, he could well turn the form around should it come up testing.
(Kempton, 25 September)
Won his first two races on the all-weather, at Lingfield and Kempton, and Sylvester Kirk’s three-year-old was returned to a synthetic surface for this mile handicap following two pretty nondescript runs on turf.
Family Fortunes wasn’t lucky with the draw, however, and was dropped out before making late headway into third behind Moolazim and Ventura Blues.
The Highclere Thoroughbreds gelding could well pop up somewhere this winter.