Andy Gibson's Eyecatchers service: Millers Bank, Frero Banbou and more

Ahead one of the busiest periods in the racing calendar, the Eyecatchers service of horse racing analyst Andy Gibson has been looking at a few horses with eyecatching potential.

There is usually more upside to noting an interesting performance when you believe the majority are more likely to have missed it, and Andy's service considers horses that may have gone under the radar for many.

Some can appear obvious, but a few can include interesting performances from horses that might seem best opposed on another day.

Spotting winning and losing efforts that may be overestimated or underestimated in the future can be key.

Millers Bank an interesting outsider for the King George

Millers Bank would appear to have performed extremely well in two very tough races recently.

In the Grade Two Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, the winner enjoyed an untroubled lead and proved to be difficult to peg back for any held-up horses, so the fact that Millers Bank got so close to Pic D'Orhy is to his credit.

Previously he was again given plenty to do at Carlisle when attempting to concede significant weight to a very talented horse in Beauport.

In both races Millers Bank finished well clear of the third horse home, and is clearly developing into a consistent and reliable chaser, well worth marking up as being of similar ability to Pic D'Orhy on another day.

He came from a long way back at Huntingdon and was still closing on the Nicholls horse in the final 50 yards. The Melling Chase will be his obvious spring target and if that sounds like flying a bit high, he does have an earlier target that should be within his ability level.

Mister Fisher won the Grade Two Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton in the middle of January 2022.

That Nicky Henderson-trained eight-year-old was well beaten by Millers Bank at Huntingdon and the pair could easily lock horns again at Kempton in the middle of January 2023.

In the meantime, Millers Bank remains a possible runner on Boxing Day in the King George VI Chase, and if he does line up there on the day, he will hopefully perform with credit and outrun his massive odds.

Whatever happens to him at Kempton, his performance will hopefully answer a few questions regarding the extent of his stamina, providing he comes home safe and sound.

He is definitely worth keeping a close eye on regarding a possible return to Kempton early next year.

Good Risk At All can be forgiven

Eyecatchers can come in all shapes and sizes and those that have performed in an apparently poor way are as interesting as any, especially when you believe you can understand why they may have disappointed.

In the following example, Haydock would seem to have presented too much of a speed test for Good Risk At All last time out in November.

Maybe the competitive nature of the Betfair Exchange Stayers' Handicap Hurdle was also a bit too much for him at this stage of his development, especially when trying a new trip.

The time of the race implies the ground may not have been soft enough for him. This can be quite an unusual test in that they can go very quickly at Haydock and simply not stop out in front, which is kind of what happened on November 19.

Historically this has been a race where it is reasonable to draw a line through any apparently disappointing performances.

Good Risk At All is a case in point, as he was very progressive prior to that day and should be treated as remaining so until he shows something different.

His claims will be worthy of more serious consideration when he competes on testing ground at a more galloping course.

Lingfield in January could be heavy enough to compensate for the possibility of the course being sharper than ideal, while a mud bath at Chepstow, Carlisle or Ascot might be as good as anywhere.

The latter produced a very testing surface when he won there in February 2022, and given the right conditions again, Good Risk At All should prove to be very competitive off his 143 rating.

More To Come From Frero Banbou

Frero Banbou appears to have performed relatively well in two races on unsuitable good ground this season.

Nonetheless, he should have even more to offer on another day when conditions are more to his liking.

He should be marked up on his most recent effort at Ascot in mid-November, as the ground would have been faster than ideal and, perhaps equally importantly, the Venetia Williams stable was yet to get going at that point of the season.

At Ascot Frero Banbou led for the early part of the race and was still in front turning for home.

He was soon outpaced and got left well behind in the closing stages, but he will be better on softer ground over easier fences, as he once again jumped low over a few of the stiff Ascot obstacles.

We can hope to see plenty of improvement from Frero Banbou when competing on a softer surface now that Veneta Williams has struck a rich vein of form. The Lingfield race he won last January is again the obvious target race coming up.

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