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Max Liebermann comes good at Southwell

Fri 2 Mar 2018

Former Ballydoyle inmate Max Liebermann took full advantage of the hastily arranged 'bumpers for jumpers' card at Southwell by turning over a new leaf.

Now with John Ryan, the four-year-old is a full-brother to Group Two winner Battle Of Marengo as a son of Galileo out of the Listed winner Anna Karenina.

He showed little in two starts for Aidan O'Brien and was subsequently gelded and had a wind operation before being bought by Ryan for just 8,000 guineas.

Max Liebermann was pulled up on his hurdling debut at Warwick last month, but switched back to the level for the First Months Commission Back On Betdaq "Jumpers' Bumper" National Hunt Flat Race, the 12-1 shot hit the front a long way from home under Tom Garner and powered clear of four rivals to win by an eased-down nine lengths.

"Getting out of Lambourn was an adventure this morning," said Garner.

"I spoke to John, who really fancied him. He's probably been a lead horse for some really good horses once upon a time.

"All he knows probably is to do a piece of work and get beat. He didn't show much interest on his hurdling debut but John was adamant he had a lot of ability.

"He did it nicely in the end."

Donald McCain enjoyed a profitable afternoon on the all-weather, saddling three winners.

The Bankhouse handler kicked off his treble with Swashbuckle (5-2), who ran in the Cesarewitch for Andrew Balding but who had cut little ice in three previous runs for new connections.

McCain, who also took some of his Cheltenham Festival team to gallop before racing, headed by unbeaten novice chaser Testify, told At The Races: "He (Swashbuckle) wasn't doing a lot in front. He's worn sheepskins in the past and was just hanging fire a bit.

"It's difficult to go a good gallop in a race like this. He was a thorough stayer on the Flat so we just tried to make it a test.

"He was in at Newbury this weekend. We'll just look for a handicap, there's no great plan."

McCain was also on the mark with Good Tradition (6-5 favourite), ridden by Harry Stock in his father's colours, before Fin And Game made fairly heavy weather of winning at 1-6.

Brian Hughes was on board Swashbuckle and Fin And Game and he also rode 1-25 favourite Tomngerry, one of two winners on the day for trainer Brian Ellison.

The Malton handler teamed up with Danny Cook to win with 4-5 favourite Bordeaux Bill

"We may as well gallop for money as at home. Both came in good form and were ready for a race," said Ellison.

The most impressive winner of the day was in the closing race as Dan Skelton's Flash The Steel (1-2 favourite) skipped clear in style under Harry Skelton.

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