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The sole selection of Sunday was a winner, winning at a slightly drifted price of 17/2 and doesn't it in relatively good fashion. It was eye-catching that Charles Byrnes would have brought his runner over to Musselburgh, and everything went to plan like I was hoping.
Some of you might have even backed Impulsive One earlier on in the day, which is what I suggested, but I didn't quite put him up as a selection as I was worried about the ground.
After two years without a win, it looks about the right time that SKYHILL gets back in the winners enclosure. He has been on a downward spiral since his win in January 2020, but his recent run at Kelso was a return to form, and if he can build on that, he will be tough to beat in my opinion.
He is extremely well handicapped based on old form, which is something you'd expect from a horse without a win in two years. His handicap mark has gone from 106 to 84, with his last win coming off 98. His mark was untouched by the handicapper after a big run to finish 2L behind the winner lto, which was equal to a performance of 93 according to the Racing Post Ratings. He was unlucky that day, as he was hindered by a faller three from home, despite that he kept on strongly, but wasn't strong enough to land a blow. The winner that day races against the selection again, but is 4lbs worse off at the weights, and I think with a clear round of jumping without being hampered, that is enough to swap the placings between the two.
The ground will be fine for Skyhill, who handles soft ground. Brian Hughes is a positive jockey booking for the small yard of Alison Hamilton, who has rarely used the ex-champion jockey, who is riding out of his skin.
As you will know, bumpers aren't my cup of tea when it comes to betting, but there can often be good value, and if that's the case I will chance my arm.
I am a big fan of John McConnell, especially when he sends his horses over to Britain. He doesn't send them unless he thinks they go there with a good chance, and I believe he thinks the same with his debutante, BELLA UNION.
John is 2/10 in bumpers in Britain in the last five years, which is a decent SR. What is interesting with this horse is the pedigree. He is a half sibling to the useful, Go Another One, who is a stable flag bearer for John McConnell. Go Another One won his frist ever race over rules in a bumper in Britain, at Market Rasen. It could obviously be a huge coincidence that they've gone for the same route with this horse with sending him across the Irish Sea, but I think he's worth a chance, especially at the odds on offer at the time of writing.
12:00 Southwell - Race: 1
12:15 Bath - Race: 1
12:20 Punchestown - Race: 1