WELCOME to our Eyecatchers column. Every week 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.
BAY WATCH CAN COMPLETE HIS HAT-TRICK ON QUICK SUMMER GROUND
(Sandown, 25 July)
Up 4lb for his course and distance victory 19 days earlier, Marronnier just failed to follow up in this Class 4 handicap.
Sent off a shade of odds-on, the three-year-old travelled smoothly under Oisin Murphy but found Ralph Beckett’s blinkered Victory Chime a most resilient opponent when the chips were down.
Although hanging slightly right into the winner under pressure, Marronnier lost little in defeat, the front pair drawing six lengths clear of previous scorer Match Maker.
Stuart Williams can find him another race before too long.
(Newcastle, 27 July)
Despite missing the kick slightly, Keith Dalgleish’s blinkered gelding was soon sitting just off the pace before Ben Sanderson brought his mount under pressure over two out.
The response was by no means electrifying but Glengarry stuck on willingly enough.
Glengarry scored here last autumn, so a return trip could be on the cards, although his Ayrshire owners will no doubt be keen to land a success at their local track on turf (has also won at Musselburgh on quick ground).
(Salisbury, 27 July)
Tracey Barfoot-Saunt is better known in National Hunt circles but 3m chasers and 5f speedballs appear to come alike to the Gloucestershire trainer on the evidence of Bay Watch’s hatchet job in this Class 6 dash.
Turned out only three days after his 40-1 success on debut for the yard at Bath, Bay Watch produced a decisive spurt for John Fahy to score by more than three lengths.
The five-year-old was out of the handicap at Bath and although a fairly stiff rise is beckoning, he could well complete his hat-trick on quick summer ground.
(York, 27 July)
The rain arrived in time for Roger Fell’s gelding and it was something a surprise to see him trading at 20-1 for this 7f Class 4 handicap.
Kapono finished a close third over five furlongs on soft at Haydock in June before winning at Newcastle a few weeks later, so the form was in the book.
Connections stepped Kapono up in trip here and he took the race apart, dashing clear over a furlong out with the race seemingly in the bag.
However, favourite Triple Distilled had shown his liking for the Knavesmire when scoring a couple of weeks earlier and the picture changed dramatically as he produced another top-drawer effort to cut down Kapono close home.
(Ascot, 27 July)
A lack of tactical speed proved Kiefer’s undoing in this 1m 4f Class 3 handicap.
Charles Bishop, who has ridden Eve Johnson Houghton’s three-year-old in all his six career starts, settled Kiefer in rear before making his move off the home bend.
Kiefer was doing his best work at the finish, eating into the principals’ advantage, and this good to soft ground may not have been ideal.
The likeable grey produced a similar performance when just failing to peg back Desert Icon at Salisbury in June and this previous winner at Newbury, where he relished the galloping track, has the potential to improve further as his career develops.
(Pontefract, 28 July)
Clipper Logistics buy some nice horses and this daughter of Delegator shaped as a potential improver on debut.
With hot favourite Pop Dancer breaking smartly to make all in this 5f maiden, Danny Tudhope was always playing catch-up, with Queen’s Order sticking to her task through the final furlong without doing quite enough to catch the winner.
It was seven lengths back to the third.