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.
TEN TO FOLLOW FROM THE EBOR FESTIVAL
With some of Aidan O’Brien’s horses under something of a cloud, Kew Gardens was easy enough to back.
Ryan Moore settled the Grand Prix de Paris and Queen’s Vase winner well off the pace and his backers never had an earthly of collecting.
Kew Gardens will be a different proposition at Doncaster next month.
Richard Hannon’s wide-margin Chelmsford City winner didn’t get a rub of the green, with Jim Crowley screaming for room two furlongs out with plenty of horse under him.
A regular money-spinner on the Knavesmire for Michael Dods, Get Knotted found the principals getting away from him in the final furlong on this fast ground.
The gelding was by no means disgraced in finishing eighth to very game winner Poet’s Society and his earlier course success at the end of July came on his favoured soft ground.
Only 2lb higher here, Get Knotted remains feasibly treated and will no doubt roll up at next month’s Doncaster St Leger Festival.
Back in sixth spot, Maggies Angel was staying on at the one pace for 7lb apprentice Oakley Brown, showing enough to suggest Richard Fahey can find her a race.
She was out of her depth in two hot races following an encouraging debut at Musselburgh in early June when beaten a neck by Pepita.
Maggies Angel ran very well in defeat on soft ground last season and a wet autumn could see her bounce back to peak form.
Titus fairly routed his rivals stepped up to this extended 1m 3f distance and the rest were playing for places from some way out.
One of them was Never Surrender, with Paul Hanagan making his move on the far side before his mount stayed on for fifth spot.
Charlie Hills’s gelding has never looked the most straight-forward but bounced back to form on his previous start at Epsom, suggesting he may have turned over something of a new leaf.
A mark of 82 looks within Never Surrender’s compass if that is indeed the case.
Back in third came Mystic Flight on his handicap debut for Roger Varian and he didn’t get the cleanest run through before delivering his challenge.
The form of his previous two novice stakes runs is working out very well, having beat subsequent winner Glenglade at Haydock before being asked to concede a stone to useful Honey Man (second) at Chelmsford City.
Honey Man came out to win a Kempton handicap last week off 89, so it all stacks up appealingly for Mystic Flight.
William Haggas picked one of the strongest events of its type on the calendar for Heart Of Grace’s first handicap venture and his three-year-old filly wasn’t disgraced in finishing eighth, beaten just over four lengths, to Ghostwatch.
This classy 1m 6f handicap was run in fast time and Liam Jones had his mount a little further back than probably he would have preferred.
Switched wide, Heart of Grace made up ground steadily in her first-time cheek-pieces and was quite strong at the finish, without threatening the leaders.
The hurly-burly of the Melrose was in stark contest to her previous outing in mid-July when landing a four-runner novice stakes at Lingfield, and with only four career starts under her belt, Heart of Grace has a future in staying handicaps.
Jamie Spencer has been riding like a demon and almost pulled this out of the fire after Supernova fluffed the start.
David Simcock’s colt, a winner on both outings this season at Goodwood and Doncaster, weaved his way through the pack and was cutting into Ghostwatch’s clear advantage close home.
This is a one that got away, but a terrific effort nonetheless.
Came into the race as Willie Mullins’s perceived second string behind favourite Stratum, but only just failed to hit the frame after being caught up in some bunching over a furlong out.
The five-year-old remains progressive but probably falls between two stools – not quite good enough to land a Group 3 and too highly rated to nail something like the Cesarewitch where there are usually a few well-treated stayers lurking near the bottom of the handicap.
It might be over hurdles that Whiskey Sour really makes his mark in the months ahead and Mullins is just the man to place him to best advantage.
Pivoine hacked up in first-time blinkers to crown a good week’s work for Andrew Balding and back in the ruck Kings Gift was never seen to best effect on this very slick surface.
Kings Gift will probably have the sat-nav tuned into the west coast of Scotland for a return visit next month.