Eyecatchers

Royal Birth (10-1), Marronnier (4-1), Electric Ladyland (7-2), Be Proud (15-8) and Lampang (10-11) were previous Eyecatchers to reward their backers last week and Alan Thomson has unearthed ten to track from the three days of the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Flat racing's headquarters.

  • Monday 30 September
  • Blog
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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.

TEN TO TRACK FROM THE CAMBRIDGESHIRE MEETING

SPIRIT RIDGE
(Weatherbys TBA Handicap, 26 September)

Jim Crowley was happy to let Spirit Ridge stride on and Amanda Perrett’s gelding refused to buckle when tackled by strong-travelling Dramatic Device well over a furlong out.

Half a length separated the pair at the line, with nine lengths back to third horse Buzz, and there are more races to be won by the front two.
Spirit Ridge remains lightly-raced for a four-year-old and was returning from a 110-day break.

He ended last season on a high by winning at Leicester in October but the weather will probably determine his next port of call as he has never been tried on soft ground, despite being a son of top-class mudlark Nathaniel.

The all-weather may be an option but, meantime, he has a Cesarewitch entry.

TOP RANK
(Molson Coors Handicap, 26 September)

Top Rank was the one punters wanted, forcing him into a shade of odds-on for this mile contest.

The result was never in doubt from a long way out, P J McDonald oozing confidence as he pushed Top Rank clear of solid yardstick Sash.

Top Rank remains unbeaten after three starts, including a debut success on the Polytrack at Lingfield, and James Tate has quite an exciting handicapper on his hands.

IRENE MAY
(British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap, 26 September)

Sylvester Kirk’s three-year-old, unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile, was very easy to back (28-1) and could never get serious as Oisin Murphy weaved his way through on Chil Chil to master in-form Gale Force Maya in quite spectacular fashion.

Irene May was up 7lb on the back of a four lengths victory at Bath and the filly stayed on steadily in sixth as she met the rising ground.

She seems to prefer a sound surface and one of her victories came at Chelmsford City, which may come in useful over the winter.

SPIRIT OF APPIN
(Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes, 27 September)

Brian Meehan doesn’t have the depth of talent at his disposal as was the case in some previous years but he had four-year-old Spirit Of Appin at concert pitch for this 1m 4f Group 3 contest for the fairer sex.

Punters preferred the younger brigade, headed by odds-on Promissory, but Martin Dwyer gave his mount a no-nonsense ride from the front.

In truth, they never looked like being caught as Spirit Of Appin came home clear of Aidan O’Brien’s Simply Beautiful and the one-paced Promissory.

Spirit Of Appin had previously occupied the minor placed berth behind Dermot Weld’s classy Search For A Song and the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Vivionn in the Galtres Stakes at York and the only real surprise was her 9-1 starting price.

CLOAK OF SPIRITS
(Shadwell Rockfel Stakes, 27 September)

Richard Hannon’s juvenile kicked off her career in style when quickening clear at Ascot in late July but seemed to find a mile too far when fading into sixth in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger festival.

This return to 7f saw Cloak of Spirits in a better light with a close-up third to favourite Daahyeh, holding every chance through the final furlong under Andrea Atzeni.  

She may fall short of top bracket but there are still good races to be won (untried on a yielding surface).

SHE’S GOT YOU
(Tasleet British EBF Rosemary Stakes, 27 September)

The daughter of Kingman is making notable strides and was quickly upgraded to Listed company by John Gosden following an authoritative handicap success at Ascot last month off 86.

She’s Got You, preferred by Frankie Dettori over stable companion Lady Lawyer, had his mount in front a furlong out and she went down with all guns blazing, conceding victory by a neck to battle-hardened elder Agincourt.

JAZEEL
(bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap, 28 September)

Frankie Dettori’s calm and controlled ride on Lord North (broke course record) was a thing of beauty and bold apprentice Thore Hammer Hansen deserves plaudits for giving runner-up Beringer a cracker as well.

The stands’ side was the place to be and Jazeel was seriously inconvenienced by drawing stall seven.

Regular rider Jamie Spencer had to switch his mount left to join the main pack, forfeiting ground, and Jazeel was far from disgraced in seventh, running on steadily.

Jedd O’Keeffe’s four-year-old pipped Beringer at Sandown in early July and found only outsider Fayez too strong in the Unibet Handicap at the Qatar Goodwood festival, so he has plenty of solid handicap form on his cv at around ten furlongs granted a sound surface.

MAJESTIC DAWN
(bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap, 28 September)

Having won his maiden over 1m 3f by six lengths at Newbury back in April (good to soft, made all), connections of Majestic Dawn were clearly keen to make full use of his fairly high draw.

David Egan sprung him out smartly and Majestic Dawn took the field along at a lively tempo up the stands’ rail.

His goose was cooked passing the two-furlong marker but Majestic Dawn remained handy, finishing fifth, beaten just over five lengths.

This was his first start in 78 days following a solid third to Walkinthesand at HQ in July and the three-year-old colt will be of interest if Paul Cole has him out again before the end of the turf season returned to a slower surface.

TROPBEAU
(Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes, 28 September)

There were calls for the head of ‘Marmite Man’ Mickael Barzalona from the backers of French raider Tropbeau following the outcome of this prestigious Group 1 for fillies over six furlongs.

Andre Fabre’s juvenile wasn’t presented with clear racing room from the two-furlong pole as her jockey manoeuvred for a challenging position, with first Raffle Prize and eventual clear-cut winner Millisle powering for the line.

Tropbeau finished on their heels in third and probably would have felt more comfortable on slower ground on the evidence of her victory in a Group 2 at Deauville (soft) in August.

For punters who kept the faith with Barzalona, he was back in the good books 35 minutes later when steering Earthlight to victory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes. C’est la vie.

CASPIAN QUEEN
(British Stallion Studs EBF ‘Jersey Lily’ Fillies’ Nursery Handicap, 28 September)

With the track riding very slick there was no hiding place in this 7f contest.

Caspian Queen, up 5lb for her Goodwood victory over six furlongs earlier in the month, led the centre group over a furlong out before her exertions took their toll.

She wasn’t beaten far in fourth behind Huboor and with so much speed (she won over 5f at Windsor in July) plus a good attitude, Caspian Queen can be placed to further advantage by resurgent Richard Hughes.

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