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.
BRIERY BELLE ATR Tracker
(Warwick, 22 January)
Having only her fourth start, Briery Belle was well beaten by progressive Morello Royale but she suffered serious interference jumping three out, with Richard Johnson doing a fine impression of a rodeo rider to stay in the saddle. Trainer Henry Daly will be delighted with Briery Belle's steady progress and she looks to have a future.
ENGROSSING ATR Tracker
(Doncaster, 23 January)
Rather lost his way since scoring at Kempton for Richard Hannon earlier in his career but this was a bit more like it. Now in the care of Peter Niven, the six-year-old chased home a useful sort in Nicky Henderson's Days Of Heaven and previous starting prices of 20-1, 16-1, 66-1, 22-1 and 33-1 are unlikely to be available next time.
CHOOKIE ROYALE ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 23 January)
A welcome return to action following a foot injury (after 280 days) for Keith Dalgleish's popular all-weather performer and his fifth to fast-improving Shyron was an encouraging effort. The seven-year-old hasn't much leeway running off 109 but he will be worth noting on a return to his favoured haunts of Wolverhampton and Kempton.
MISTER BOB ATR Tracker
(Wolverhampton, 23 January)
Holding his form well since bolting up over this extended two-mile trip in October off an 11lb lower mark. Held-up in a muddling affair, James Bethell's six-year-old threw down a determined challenge from the two-furlong pole but could never quite get to grips with gritty winner Very Good Day.
VALUE AT RISK ATR Tracker
(Cheltenham, 24 January)
Didn't enhance his Albert Bartlett prospects by failing to land some big bets but this 2m 5f trip seemed on the sharp side. Third behind Shaneshill and Silver Concorde in the big Punchestown bumper in April when trained by Philip Fenton, Value At Risk hacked up at Newbury on his hurdling debut for Dan Skelton and he isn't one to write off for Cheltenham given a more searching stamina test.
REGARDS ATR Tracker
(Wolverhampton, 27 January)
Charlie Appleby's son of Shamardal made an encouraging debut in this three-year-old contest won by useful-looking newcomer Sir Keating. Drawn wide, Regards broke sloppily and was restrained off a slow pace. Consequently, he was caught in a vulnerable position when the race developed into a dash for the line but stayed on willingly into fifth.
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