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.
WISE RULER CAN BE A WINNING HANDICAPPER FOR SIMON CRISFORD
(Chelmsford City, 24 October)
Unraced as a juvenile by John Gosden, the gelded three-year-old Yimou made a promising racecourse debut for Dean Ivory in this mile maiden won by odds-on Matterhorn.
Yimou, something of a handful on the way to the start, had a mountain to climb after a slow break but Martin Dwyer allowed him to find his stride before nabbing second spot close home.
The winner clocked a good time.
(Carlisle, 25 October)
Hawk High jumped efficiently under Brian Hughes and owner Trevor Hemmings will have been delighted by this return to action.
With his preference for good ground, Hawk High may be difficult to place through the winter months but there could be a nice prize in him.
(Chelmsford City, 25 October)
Made a real race of it with strongly-supported favourite Red October, going down by under a length.
Simon Crisford’s colt has shown promise on all three starts and is likely to develop into a winning handicapper next season, probably staying a little further than this mile trip.
(Newbury 26 October)
Has come quite a long way since making a spectacular winning debut at Windsor in late April and Roger Charlton’s three-year-old ended his first campaign with a creditable third to Outbox and Elegiac in this Conditions Stakes.
Kieran Shoemark anchored Aspetar in rear before making his move from the 3f pole on the wide outside.
Consequently, Aspetar saw plenty of daylight and his run rather flattened out in the final furlong, with this 1m 5f trip stretching his stamina.
His sire Al Kazeem was a marvellous servant to the Charlton yard and Aspetar should continue to flourish on his favoured soft ground.
(Cheltenham, 27 October)
After some heavy showers the ground was pretty chewed up on the inside by the time of the bumper, so it was a surprise to see Breaking Waves taking that route under Wayne Hutchinson.
Noel Williams’s gelding, a son of Yeats, did well to get so close to Strong Glance and Master Debonair, the first two navigating a much wider course, and this run confirmed the promise of Breaking Waves’s Huntingdon success back in March.
(Redcar, 29 October)
Runner-up on his debut at Ayr last month, Pendleton occupied the same spot in this 6f novice stakes.
Michael Dods’s colt, carrying the familiar red silks of owner David Armstrong, followed in the slipstream of odds-on Finoah but could never get to grips with the winner when the chips were down.
The front two drew nine lengths clear of the pack and Pendleton will pay his way.