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.
LINGFIELD WINNER JACKBLACK COULD RUN UP A SEQUENCE
(Nottingham, 22 May)
Mark Johnston’s filly made a winning handicap debut but still looked green in the process.
The daughter of Sea The Stars fluffed the start and trailed by five lengths as the field sorted out the batting order up ahead.
Niggled along, Sea Youmzain made up her ground quickly in the straight and hit the front with ears pricked.
This wasn’t a strong event but there appears plenty more in the locker if she keeps her mind on the job.
DASH OF SPICE
(Kempton, 23 May)
Beat Past Master by a wide margin at Lingfield before Christmas and David Elsworth’s gelding looks like making up into a smart middle-distance handicapper.
Punters couldn’t get enough of him following a fine effort at Epsom and they were cursing their luck when Dash Of Spice was buffeted at the first bend.
This lit him up and Silvestre De Sousa had a fight on his hands trying to settle his mount.
Subsequently, he found himself well out of his ground on the final bend, before rattling home on the wide outside into second spot behind fairly unexposed winner Buzz.
(Lingfield 24, May)
Hadn’t been seen since scooping two novice hurdles at Fontwell in August/September but Brett Johnson’s six-year-old made mincemeat of some modest rivals in this extended 1m 3f handicap.
Callum Shepherd rode a no-nonsense race on Jackblack, pushing him into the lead after a furlong and controlling events thereafter.
Jackblack had the race in the bag halfway up the straight and starting off from a lowly base of 57 here, he could run up a sequence.
NEVERBEEN TO PARIS
(May 24, Catterick)
Carrying 9st 13lb under a 6lb penalty for scoring at Beverley nine days earlier, Neverbeen To Paris can be considered slightly unfortunate not to justify strong market support.
(Bath, May 25)
Not for the first time Leo Minor missed a beat at the start before running into traffic problems when attempting to mount his challenge up the far rail.
Robert Cowell’s sprinter couldn’t make up the ground on Silverrica when granted some racing room and can be considered an unlucky loser.
Leo Minor, a winner for previous trainer Aidan O’Brien, has produced four solid runs this season, including a close second to course specialist Pettochside at Goodwood.
He didn’t seem to mind this rattling fast ground.
VALE OF KENT
(Goodwood, 26 May)
Stall 14 in competitive 7f handicaps around here can be problematical for even the most seasoned professional jockey but 7lb apprentice Andrew Breslin had Vale Of Kent out smartly to assume a prominent position.
A dual all-weather winner this winter, Vale of Kent was having only his second start on turf and Mark Johnston’s three-year-old appears progressive.
(York, 26 May)
Having his third start for Mick Easterby following a switch from George Scott, Imperial State looked like bagging the Gentleman Amateur Riders’ Handicap until stablemate Magic City caught him close home (pair clear).
Imperial State has undergone a wind procedure and having scored on fast summer ground last season at Sandown, the five-year-old can go one better soon around a mile.