Eyecatchers

Past Eyecatcher Value At Risk (11-4) landed the Grade 2 Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival and form expert Alan Thomson has shortlisted six Eyecatchers from the past seven days to add to your ATR Tracker.

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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.

KEEP THE FAITH WITH HAALICK AFTER NIGHTMARE TRIP IN 3YO MILE FINAL

MELENDEZ ATR Tracker
(Southwell, 22 March)

Dwarfed his rivals in the paddock and Jamie Osborne should have some fun with this fella when he fills his frame.

American-bred Melendez certainly appeared to enjoy the deeper Fibresand surface and threw down a challenge to winner Dubai In Bloom which eventually ran out of impetus inside the final furlong.

This was Melendez’s third run in four weeks and connections seem keen to get a handicap mark.

HENRYVILLE ATR Tracker
(Exeter, 23 March)

Proved different gravy to his rivals with a slick round of jumping and was never out of his comfort zone.

Henryville clearly appreciated the drying ground, which he has scored on in the past, and Harry Fry must be tempted to step him up in class at somewhere like Aintree or Ayr in the coming weeks under suitable conditions.

This was Henryville’s first appearance since running Irish Cavalier close at Newton Abbot 165 days ago, so he is fresh enough for a spring campaign.

DUTCH ART DEALER ATR Tracker
(Kempton, 23 March)

Only fifth behind Presumido in the seven-furlong Class 4 handicap, but Paul Cole’s gelding did well to get so close from a bad draw (stall 12).

Martin Lane switched his mount inside from the gate before launching his challenge fairly wide in the straight.

Off for 81 days, Dutch Art Dealer’s career could be back on track after he was derailed by earlier training complications which kept him sidelined for more than a year.

HAALICK ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 25 March)

Roger Varian’s three-year-old was backed off the boards to land the 32Red All-Weather Championships Conditions Stakes but his backers were left cursing a troubled passage throughout.

Stall one can be a poisoned chalice if you miss the kick around here and so it proved, as Haalick was shuffled back to last, cramped for room, and switched for a run when the race was effectively all over.

This was only the colt’s fifth career start and playing the loyalty card should reap reward.

SIGN OF THE KODIAC ATR Tracker
(Lingfield, 25 March)

Belied his derisory 25-1 odds by almost lifting this tasty five-furlong prize, striking the front inside the final furlong until worn down by Wolowitz.

James Given’s three-year-old thrives on artificial surfaces and Sign Of The Kodiac recorded form figures of 2212 in four previous starts on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton before a welcome 111-day holiday.

He also took a scalp at Chelmsford last August so there are plenty of options looming.

THUNDER SHEIK ATR Tracker
(Haydock, 26 March)

This Challenger Series proved a big success for owners, if not necessarily for punters, and Thunder Sheik fairly bolted up in the Two-Mile Hurdle Series Final under the impressive Ryan Hatch.

The gods were clearly smiling on Nigel Twiston-Davies’s gelding as the forecast rain failed to materialise and he took full advantage of the good ground.

Thunder Sheik bounded clear from the last flight and his trainer will surely keep him active in the coming weeks, underfoot conditions permitting.

Alan Thomson's Eyecatchers column is sponsored by SIS - visit www.sis.tv for more information on a range of services for bookmaker and punter.

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