Weekly Eyecatchers

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The Charlie Hills trained B Fifty Two put behind him a poor run last time out with a 14/1 win for the Eyecatchers at Doncaster on Saturday. It could have been an even better weekend as the same trainers Boomerang Bob was 4th on Friday at 20/1 and Green Light was a fast finishing 3rd at 14/1 at Doncaster. For those of you back each way then a nice healthy profit would have been achieved.

This week’s column is dominated by four juveniles, who ran promisingly last week at Newmarket and should make up into winning three year olds next year. There are also a National Hunt horse that caught my eye at Cheltenham and is being targeted at the Paddy Power Gold Cup and one from the all weather.

For those of you who have subscribed to the Eyecatcher Pro software I have added another all weather horse, who can win a handicap on the synthetics in the coming weeks as well as another three National Hunt horses that ran at Cheltenham. There are also brief notes on all four horses’ optimum conditions.

Tuesday 20th October


Firmament – Jeremy Noseda – The three year old hasn’t added to his win as a juvenile last October but this son of Cape Cross has now run with promise twice on the all weather at Kempton and here at Wolverhampton. Slowly away here he made his effort out wide and was finishing best of all at the line. On the evidence of this run, can win races on the all weather and maybe worth a step up to a 1m 2f?

Wednesday 21st October

October two year old maidens at Newmarket can be an informative guide for those looking for next years three year olds to follow. I have found four that I want to have in my tracker for next season. It’s always possible that one or two of them could run on the all weather in the next month or so.


Izmir – William Haggas – The two year old daughter of Sir Percy was making her debut in this 7f fillies maiden race, was beaten just under 5 lengths into third here but it was still a run full of promise for the future. Didn’t get the best of runs a furlong out and was given an easy ride inside the final furlong. Related to plenty winners, there is speed in the pedigree but she should get little further in her second season as her sire was a Derby winner.

Autocratic – Sir Michael Stoute – Easy to back on his debut he looked very inexperienced before and during the race. The son of Dubawi was never really in contention for the places but was keeping on nicely to take 5th at the line. Should come on well for the run and looks a handicap project in the making, as three year old, for a trainer who excels with such horses.

Poets Word – Sir Michael Stoute – The winner of this 7f maiden race for colts and geldings Mootaharer looks a useful colt in the making but I also liked the run of this Sir Michael Stoute juvenile. A 300,000 Guineas colt and half brother to Group 3 winner & 1,000 Guineas 4th Malabar. The son of first season sire Poet’s Voice was slow away but stayed on steadily to take on 4th at the finish. Had looked a nice type before the race and has the scope to make up into a decent three year old over a 1m+. Holds an Epsom Derby entry but could be another handicap project for his trainer?

Mediciman – Henry Candy – Had shaped well on his first two starts including going off favourite for a maiden at Glorious Goodwood. This son of Medicean, a half brother to 6 &7f handicapper Tiger Jim was having his first start over a mile and I am not sure he got home on the rain softened ground, despite finishing a fair third. He will be a better horse on quicker going and maybe best up to a mile as a three year old. Will get handicap mark after this and shouldn’t be too harshly treated.

Saturday 24th October


Boondooma – Dr Richard Newland – The eight year old but up a great performance on his seasonal reappearance to take this Class 2 Handicap Chase. Despite being weak in the market he was always up with the pace and given a clever ride by his Jockey Will Kennedy. There was a lot to like how the gelding battled on to the line. After the race his trainer said “We came here to take a bit of the fizz out of Boondooma as we want to come back next month for the Paddy Power Gold Cup. I think the step up to two and a half miles will be fine as he won over that trip when hurdling”. Has won on all types of going and although he will go up for this win he has only had four starts over fences and looks open to further progress. Whatever his fate in the Paddy Power for which he is a best priced 12/1 with SkyBet he looks capable winning more races.

I will be holiday next week so there won’t be an eyecatcher column but for those of you who have Eyecatcher Pro I will add any horses to the software as normal.

Good luck with your betting this week and as ever if you have any questions or comments leave a message and I will reply to them when time allows.

John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.

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