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Andrew Mount’s Eyecatchers – Tuesday, 10th October

GG tipster Andrew Mount reveals his top 10 eyecatchers from the past week’s action.

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ABDUCTION (fourth, 7f handicap, Ayr, Tuesday October 3rd, 2023)

ABDUCTION was cruising just over a furlong out in the 7f Virgin Bet Handicap at Ayr last Tuesday, but Shane Gray went left instead of right and managed to find trouble. This isn’t the first time that Jim Goldie’s five-year-old has caught the eye from off the pace this season (usually at Musselburgh where his patient running style is rarely favoured) and he’ll find another race granted a strong gallop and a left-handed track.


CABINET OF CLOWNS (second, 1m handicap, Windsor, Monday October 9th, 2023)

They went hard up front in the 1m Champions Day On Sky Sports Racing Handicap at Windsor on Monday and the race was set up for the closers. The first four finishers received the following comments from the Racing Post…

Held up in rear
Led
Held up in rear
Midfield

Front-runner CABINET OF CLOWNS was the outlier in second place, finishing almost four lengths clear of the next prominent racer. He’d caught the eye against draw bias when fourth at Newbury in late August and should be winning soon.


DREAM RUNNER (eighth, 6f handicap, Ascot, Friday October 6th, 2023)

DREAM RUNNER (stall 4 of 16 once adjusted for non-runners) made the running in the 6f Ascot Iron Stand Handicap but could never get across to the faster strip of ground on the stands’ side and had to settle for eighth place behind Rohaan (stall 16 of 16). Kevin Ryan’s three-year-old has won just once from 13 starts but will always be of interest in small fields, especially at the likes of Chelmsford, scene of his sole success. His record in fields of ten or fewer runners stands at 3422122 (1-7).


FINAL WATCH (fifth, 7f amateur jockeys’ handicap, Ascot, Friday October 6th, 2023)

After shunning the stands’ side rail for much of the season, even when the GoingStick suggesting it was the place to be, it was a relief to see the amateur riders make full use of it in the 7f Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap. The first four came from stalls 11, 13, 14 and 9, with last year’s winner, FINAL WATCH (stall 4), the outlier in fifth.


FLORIDA (fourth, 1m classified stakes, Ascot, Friday October 6th, 2023)

The Racing Welfare Classified Stakes was a painful watch as all eight professional jockeys elected to race off the favoured rail and head towards the centre in the early stages, following front-runner Dawn Liberation in sheep-like fashion. Winner Metal Merchant (stall 2 of 8) was switched to challenge stands’ side on the better ground whereas Tom Marquand never explored the rail on the William Haggas-trained FLORIDA, despite having a good draw in stall 6 of 8. The 11-4 favourite could only finish a very modest fourth but is worth another chance.


FLYING SECRET (sixth, 7f amateur jockeys’ handicap, Ascot, Friday October 6th, 2023)

FLYING SECRET was just a short head behind Final Watch (see above) when second best of those to race down the centre from their low draws in the 7f Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap. Eve Johnson Houghton’s gelding, best on good or faster going, might not get his conditions again this term but is one to look out for when he does.


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LADY CELIA (fourth, 5f handicap, Newcastle, Friday October 6th, 2023)

The first three home in the 5f Garms Newcastle Handicap came from midfield or further back, with Alan Brown’s LADY CELIA doing best of those to press the early pace in fourth. The six-year-old ran a very similar race when third over track and trip last month and will be of interest back on turf or at an all-weather venue kinder to her running style, such as Wolverhampton. She could return to Newcastle for the 8.30 on Friday (October 13th) but she’s likely to have a target on her back again if taking up that engagement.


OSCAR DOODLE (second, 1m2f handicap, Newcastle, Monday October 2nd, 2023)

OSCAR DOODLE’s prominent running style is less than ideal for Newcastle Tapeta surface, but I suppose a trip to Newcastle is easier for his North Yorkshire-based handler than heading south to race on Polytrack, his preferred surface. He ran another good race against the pace bias in the 1m2f Best Prices Guaranteed Daily At Vickers.Bet Handicap last Monday, going down by half a length in second, but will always be vulnerable at this venue where his record now reads 6218217452322 (2-13). Brian Ellison’s grey landed a punt (tipped in my ‘best bets’ column) at Chelmsford in August and his only other Polytrack run saw him score at 18-1, again at Chelmsford.


TAJAWAL (second, 1m handicap, Newcastle, Friday October 6th, 2023)

The Simon & Ed Crisford-trained TAJAWAL took up the running plenty soon enough in the 1m Quaff Box Handicap and didn’t have quite enough in reserve to hold off David Simcock’s PANNING FOR GOLD, finishing second by a neck. The time was fast, it was two lengths back to the third and he could improve for this run – his first since a gelding operation.


URBAN ROAD (second, 1m handicap, Newcastle, Friday October 6th, 2023)

URBAN ROAD, like stablemate Lady Celia (see above), fared best of those to race up with the early pace when runner-up in division two of the 1m Quinnbet Acca Bonus Handicap. This Class 6 contest was run more than two seconds faster than division one and was only slightly slower than the earlier Class 4 handicap over the same trip. Urban Road had three lengths to spare over the next horse to track the early gallop and can go one better next time.


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