Rhys Williams has unearthed an octet of Eyecatchers to add to your Tracker, includes one that finished down the field in an Ascot bumper but is set to develop into a good horse over obstacles.

  • Wednesday 27 November
  • Blog
Up to £30 in free bets
Welcome to the attheraces.com Eyecatchers column. Every week Rhys Williams will pinpoint horses primed to strike in the next few weeks, if not days. Remember, you can add Rhys's weekly updates to your ATR Tracker.


4th - Sponsorship Opportunities @ Fairyhouse Handicap Chase, Fairyhouse, Tuesday 19th November

The often ice-cold form of Philip Rothwell’s horses has thawed out a little in recent weeks and Ilsnepasserontpas was the latest to finally show some ability under rules.

She showed promise on her debut in a point to point nearly two years ago but had shown little under rules until finishing fourth at Fairyhouse. Having travelled and jumped well through the early stages, she made a couple of mistakes at the first two fences on the final circuit but soon recovered to race just behind the leaders starting down the back straight.

She was briefly nudged along after jumping 3 out and switched to the outside, came back on the bridle turning the final bend. She appeared to be travelling best after 2 out but didn’t find as much as looked likely under pressure and came home in fourth.

With this run coming after a 167-day break it is hoped that she would improve for it and I think a slight drop back in trip wouldn’t be an issue for her given the ease with which she travelled. Clearly there is a worry that the yard’s form could quickly return to the norm but, given what she showed here, I think Ilsnepasserontpas is capable of winning off 82 in the mud this winter.

2nd - Fujitsu Novices’ Hurdle, Chepstow, Wednesday 20th November

Shang Tang showed ability in bumpers last season and made a promising start over hurdles at Chepstow.
He raced a bit keenly under restraint in third last early on before starting to make a little headway halfway down the back straight. He had moved much closer by the time he turned into the home straight and was still under restraint about seven lengths behind the leader going to 3 out.

Shang Tang made a mistake and landed flat-footed at 3 out which gave him plenty to do. Pushed along after 2 out, he started to respond and closed on the leading pair before running a bit green approaching the last.

He just edged past Cap Du Mathan at the last but couldn’t challenge Getaway Fred and finished three lengths behind him in second. Given where he was positioned in a very slowly run race, Shang Tang did well to finish as close to the winner as he did, particularly after a crucial mistake at 3 out.

Shang Tang can be expected to take a step forward from this next time and strongly run big-field handicaps may see him at his best in the long term.

2nd - Irishinjuredjockeys.com Apprentice Handicap (Div 1), Dundalk, Wednesday 20th November

Plum Perfect looked a filly to keep on the right side of over the coming months at Dundalk after being beaten a short head into second on her first start on an artificial surface.

She raced a few lengths off the leader until entering the straight when Gavin Ryan started to look for a clear passage. The gap between Loughanlea Lass and Khazix closed on Plum Perfect which meant she had to be taken back and switched and then Lady Boomerang carried her to the left which pushed her in behind Popsicle.

Ryan started to look to switch Plum Perfect outside but a gap between Popsicle and Whatharm appeared inside the last half furlong and Plum Perfect took off but she was on the wrong side of the bob of heads in the finish and was beaten a short head.

She was a very unlucky loser and with a clear run in the straight I expect she would have won comfortably and had about an 8lb rise so a 4lb rise isn’t off-putting and I think she will be off the mark sooner rather than later.

3rd - Bet @racingtv.com Nursery Handicap, Kempton, Wednesday 20th November

Ivadream progressed slightly with each run in novice/maiden company and his run on nursery debut at Kempton suggests he may not be too long in breaking his maiden.

From an awful draw widest of all in stall 12, he was bumped slightly by Love Not Money at the start and then dropped right out the back of the field by Jason Watson so that he could get across to the rail.

This meant that he was detached three lengths off the back of the field shortly after leaving the back straight and just over ten lengths behind the leader. He closed to be on the back end of the pack approach three furlongs out but then had to be steadied to avoid clipping heels.

Ivadream started to make some headway early in the straight, following through eventual runner up The Blue Bower, and finished strongly inside the final furlong to finish third beaten 3¼ lengths.

From a terrible draw this was a good run and a better draw in the future would allow him to be ridden with different tactics which I think can show him in a better light and see him show that a rating of 60 underplays his ability.

7th - Rewarding Ownership With The ROA Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, Ascot, Saturday 23rd November

The bumper at Ascot on Saturday looked a strong race beforehand and it duly lived up to that. While the front three will gain much of the attention, I thought Thais Toir ran much better than his finishing position suggests and is one to follow in the long term.

He raced prominently from the off and was one of only three to race on the inside of the track throughout, which may not have been ideal. Johnson had to start nudging him along going through the wings of the first hurdle coming out of Swinley Bottom and Thais Toir responded well and had a share of the lead turning into the straight as Kid Commando swung wider on the bend.

However, after going through the wings of 2 out Thais Toir started to weaken in the soft ground and eventually came home in seventh beaten 24½ lengths.

He’s a long-term chaser on looks and as he starts to strengthen up and fill his considerable frame, I think he can develop into a good horse over obstacles.

5th - Betfair Best Odds On ITV Races Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3), Haydock, Saturday 23rd November

David Pipe won this race on three occasions when it was run over fixed brush hurdles and while he didn’t add to that tally this season, Umbrigado shaped with plenty of promise for him on seasonal debut.

On his first run after having a wind op, he travelled strongly in mid division for much of the race and was still tanking along just behind the leaders turning out of the back straight for the final time. He moved into third shortly after three out and was then switched sharply towards the outside as it looked like the gap in front on the inside might close.

He responded well to stronger pressure after 2 out and jumped the last just over a length behind the leading pair before looking to not quite see out the 3m trip and coming home in fifth beaten 6½ lengths.

The manner in which he travelled through the race suggests he could add to his tally over hurdles off 142 before going chasing and that a drop back in distance may suit.

4th - Gravitas Magazine Maiden Hurdle (Div II), Huntingdon, Saturday 23rd November

Takeit Easy’s keen-going nature has meant that he has looked far from an easy conveyance so far but I thought his second start over hurdles at Huntingdon suggested that he also has ability that is waiting to be realised.

Held up in second last, he settled better than has been the case, but he jumped badly early on with mistakes at the first three hurdles. He was better at the fourth and still raced a bit keenly at the back of the main group going to 4 out.

When trying to make ground after 3 out he was stuck in a pocket as the front three started to move away from the rest. Eventually getting a run once in the straight, Takeit Easy made headway going to 2 out but made another mistake and after a better jump at the last, finished fourth beaten twelve lengths.

Hopefully, as he gains more experience, his jumping will start to become much sharper as there could be plenty of improvement to come if those errors disappear.

It is still a slight concern that Takeit Easy races so keenly but stronger-run handicaps will suit and he is worth keeping an eye on now that he will surely go into those with his rating of 110.

2nd - #betyourway At Betway Handicap, Wolverhampton, Saturday 23rd November

Very slow starts had been a feature of Clap Your Hands’ runs in maiden/novice company but although he did miss the break slightly on handicap debut at Wolverhampton, it did suggest that the severe starting woes may now be behind him.

Having raced in mid division, he was travelling best just over two furlongs out but then got trapped as Inteldream moved around him and Clap Yours Hands had to regain his momentum. He responded willingly to pressure but couldn’t challenge Inteldream who beat him by a length into second.

Given the interference at a crucial stage this performance can be marked up and with this being his first run for 186 days and only the fourth of his career, it is likely that he will improve from it.

On this evidence he would have no problem with a drop back to 1m4f, if necessary, and I think he can continue to progress from his new rating of 72.


Sign up to bet365. Click to View Bonus Code Details
Up to £30 in free bets
Get £20 in free bets
£20 Risk Free First Bet
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £30 in free bets
Up to £40 in Bonus funds
100% Bonus up to £100
£20 Free Exchange Bet
Get a £10 risk-free first bet

Existing User?

Forgot your password?

New User?

Sign up using our simple one-page form and you'll be able to access free video form, tips and exclusive content straight away.