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.
CALIPSO COLLONGES HAS HIS CONFIDENCE AT PEAK LEVEL
(Newcastle, 20 March)
Had some pretty useful form (Sandown winner) for Sir Michael Stoute and the five-year-old must have thrilled new trainer Phil Kirby with this debut effort following a 563-day absence from public duty.
This was Stargazer’s first attempt at two miles, as he was mostly campaigned around 10/12 furlongs previously down south, so this gives his trainer a few more options.
(Haydock, 21 March)
Ex-Irish gelding racked up his third win in four starts for Olly Murphy (all on soft), looking stronger than ever with this step up to three miles.
Conditional rider Fergus Gregory gave his mount a very confident ride, cruising to the front for a 12 lengths success and Calipso Collonges has his confidence at peak level.
(Kempton, 21 March)
Paul Midgley’s gelding was very keen on his first start in 148 days, powering to the front from his wide draw, and had most of his rivals in trouble early in the straight before being swallowed up close home.
DANS LE VENT
(Ludlow, 22 March)
The market found it difficult separating Dans Le Vent and eventual winner Silver Kayf and the pair duly had the race between them down the straight.
Jamie’s Snowden’s Dans Le Vent stayed this 2m 5f trip stoutly after pushing on from some way out and lost little in defeat. The five-year-old should make his mark in handicaps.
(Bangor, 24 March)
Lucinda Russell’s ex-French gelding doesn’t possess an immediate change of gear but has shown a willing enough attitude to suggest he will soon hit the target up north.
Bialco was no match for warm favourite Knockrobin but he had the rest well beaten off in this 2m 3f novices’ hurdle.
The grey is another one to note in handicaps, with chasing his likely game.
(Ascot, 25 March)
A triumph for ineptitude as the starter fluffed his lines.
Samuel Jackson wasn’t the only horse to suffer, losing several lengths as the tape flew up unexpectedly, and as a consequence Samuel Jackson could never get into the race, eventually running on late into fifth.
He has proved his 100-1 Taunton boil-over earlier in the season was no flash in the pan and should be followed in handicaps next season.