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.
SWORDBEARER ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 22 October)
Remains a maiden after seven starts but James Fanshawe's three-year-old shaped quite nicely in fifth place behind Set The Trend and in-form Fiftyshadesofgrey in this competitive mile handicap. The gelding is no forlorn hope off this mark of 73, although a drop to 70 would open up easier avenues of opportunity.
CORTON LAD ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 23 October)
Fully exposed (five wins from 30 starts) but Keith Dalgleish's four-year-old races with plenty of zest. The gelding cut out most of the donkey work before the classy and improving Daaree swept past, pursued by a chasing posse. Corton Lad got left behind but wasn't too far adrift at the line and will find easier assignments than this cut-throat affair.
DREAM CHILD ATR Tracker
(Newbury, 24 October)
A winner at Wolverhampton in late September, Dream Child found this deep turf surface a very different test. Charlie Appleby's filly lost her promising position two out but was gradually closing down Polar Eyes in fourth in this 10-furlong handicap. Dream Child finished third to useful Kleo in a Lingfield maiden in July and looks the type to do better on synthetic surfaces.
THE PIRATE'S QUEEN ATR Tracker
(Chepstow, 25 October)
Alan King's mare found the boys Blaklion (unbeaten in four starts) and Vicente (140-rated) just too strong between the last two flights in the Grade 2 Persian War Novices' Hurdle but was nicely clear of the rest. The Pirate's Queen can prove a little treasure when next pitched in against her own sex.
MIDNIGHT SHOT ATR Tracker
(Aintree, 26 October)
Second on his bumper debut at Market Rasen, Midnight Shot was quite well backed to go one better but came up short behind Globalisation. Always travelling comfortably on the heels of the leaders, Charlie Longsdon's four-year-old failed to find a gap at a crucial stage and, when eventually switched wide for some racing room, did well in the circumstances to finish third.
CATEGORICAL ATR Tracker
(Ayr, 27 October)
Jumped soundly throughout this staying chase but was chopped for room on the home bend when holding a challenging position. That was effectively game over but Categorical rallied from an impossible position to grab third spot. He deserves another throw of the dice.
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