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It was good to get another winner on the board with Order Of Australia delivering the good in emphatic fashion at the Curragh, proving he is a Group 1 horse and better than the Group 2 field he was up against. However, I think it's time to leave Rumbles Of Thunder alone for a while as she isn't turning into the horse I thought she was, and probably isn't a high level Group animal.
It's a shame that two flat meetings have been cancelled today due to the extreme warm weather, however the horses' health is paramount.
It's always a risk backing a horse against a Willie Mullins horse, especially on a flat meeting where he rarely sends them, but I think Youmdor is far too short in the market and has to be taken on. The horse who I have fallen on to put it up to the favourite is Jessie Harrington's ONLY SKY.
Before I go into Only Sky, I will briefly touch on why Youmdor is worth taking on. He is obviously a decent horse over the jumps, being rated in the 140s, and is good enough on the flat shown by his 83 rating set by the handicapper, but his win and best runs have come on very testing ground (other than his one win on the AW), which he won't be getting today at Ballinrobe where the ground is currently ‘good' and the weather suggests that won't be getting any slower. He started life well at Willie's, but his efforts petered off, granted his last run was at the Cheltenham Festival, but still you'd expect a better run than his 18th placed finish.
Only Sky looks a great alternative with the ground likely to be perfect for him, as well as the track playing to his strengths shown by his only win on the flat coming at this venue over today's distance. His win came off a 1lb higher mark than today's mark, which is virtually nothing, and one thing which makes a return for today's run is the cheekpieces, which were first applied on his win a year ago. The cheekpieces have been on between the win and now, but they were off for a fair few runs, so it's interesting they're back on today, especially at this track. Jessie Harrington's yard are flying at the moment, especially with the big win on Saturday at the Curragh, joined with the 23% SR over the last fortnight.
Only Sky won this exact race last year, and Jessie Harrington won it in 2019 (previous renewal as 2020 wasn't on), so it's a race which she has been targeting in recent times.