He went up 9lb after I won on him over this kind of trip at Kempton last year and he has been pretty slow to come down the handicap since, though to be fair he has run the occasional good race, such as when second at Cheltenham in November. And there was certainly nothing wrong with his close third in a veterans’ race over 3m at Doncaster last month. He won a good bumper here a few years back, runs off the same mark as at Doncaster, and the step down in trip, on what will hopefully be decent ground, will suit him well. He has a fair each-way chance.
He was a little bit disappointing at Kempton last time and probably needs more time. But he had earlier shown decent form at Wincanton, and he would have an outside place chance if returning to that level of performance.
He is related to a couple of winners, notably the smart chaser Lidar who was also a bumper winner who finished second in the Grade 2 National Hunt race at the Aintree meeting. We have a good strike rate in these races this year, winning one in four, and we have had a couple of winners this week. We also won this race with Gaitway in 2014. Ligny is a nice type and is ready to go.
I won on him at Cheltenham last season and he has dropped down to a lowly mark after some below-par efforts of late. But they have certainly not been overly-poor and the handicapper has given him a real chance by dropping him another 3lb from Hereford last month. He is now 11lb lower than when fifth in last season’s Grand Annual and that clearly makes him of interest here, for all that he obviously needs to step up on recent efforts and he is a 10yo now.
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