The Sky Bet Sunday Series kicks off this weekend with a seven-race card at Musselburgh. 17 runners are set to go to post in what looks the most competitive race on the day, a five-furlong handicap (17:15) with a total prize fund of more than £25,000.
Water of Leith (96) sets the standard on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings. He won a pair of six-furlong novice events on the all-weather when trained by Jim Goldie in 2020, achieving a useful level of form in the process. He struggled for consistency earlier this season but has taken steps back in the right direction for his new yard of late, including when filling the runner-up spot (beaten two and a quarter lengths) at Haydock nine days ago. He can race from the same mark here and looks sure to be thereabouts if building on that effort.
The Bell Conductor (95) is another with leading form claims. He has been lightly raced in recent years but showed he retains all his ability when scoring at Beverley three weeks ago, just needing to be kept up to his work to land the spoils by a neck. This will be tougher from a 3 lb higher mark, but the form of that Beverley race is working out well – the fourth and fifth have both won since – and The Bell Conductor’s low-mileage profile gives him the potential to scale greater heights.
The Grant Tuer-trained Gunnerside (92) is a thriving sprinter who notched his sixth success of 2021 when seeing off six rivals at Carlisle earlier this month, winning by a length and a half but looking value for extra (idled slightly in front). That performance earned him the ‘Horse In Focus’ Flag, identifying him as a horse who will remain of interest from a career-high mark.
Jim Goldie saddles four runners, the most interesting of which is perhaps Primo’s Comet (93), who has an excellent record at Musselburgh with two wins from his last three starts over this course and distance. He picked his way through to beat Economic Crisis (94) by three quarters of a length on the most recent occasion and clearly arrives here at the top of his game, though his patient style of racing will be harder to pull off in this big field.
Modular Magic (93) is another lightly-raced sprinter who improved again to make a winning return at Ayr in June. He travelled well but didn't quite pack the same punch at the finish when fourth on his most recent outing at York, ultimately passing the post three lengths behind the winner. He lines up from the same mark here and shouldn’t be underestimated, with further progress not out of the question given his unexposed profile.
Others to consider include Good Luck Fox (92) and Wade’s Magic (94). Good Luck Fox has the ‘Horse For Course’ Flag after running out a decisive winner over this course and distance last time, just needing to be pushed out to win by a length and a half from Sound of Iona (93) and Never Dark (93). That was an impressive performance and he should prove capable of holding own here from a 7 lb higher mark, for all that his draw in stall 1 is potentially tricky.
Wade’s Magic overdid things in front when fifth over this course and distance in June and the way he shaped when third at Wolverhampton last time suggests he is still on a good mark. He wasn’t ideally placed given how that race developed and did well under the circumstances to finish as close as he did, earning the ‘Sectional’ Flag as he finished strongly to be beaten just a length and a quarter.
Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
The Beverley race The Bell Conductor won last time has been working out so Philip Makin's lightly-raced 4-y-o could still be nicely handicapped up 3 lb. The thriving Gunnerside heads the many dangers along with Wade's Magic and Water of Leith.
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