Defi Du Seuil set to put perfect Sandown record on the line in Betfair Tingle Creek Chase

Defi Du Seuil Schloer Chase 2019

Defi Du Seuil (4) and Barry Geraghty  on the way to victory in the Schloer Chase at Cheltenham. (Pic: Julian Herbert PA Wire / PA Images, courtesy of Cheltenham Racecourse)

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Defi Du Seuil bagged a Grade 1 win on his sole start at Sandown in February and is set to return to the Esher track on December 7 to contest the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase.

Philip Hobbs’ stable star booked his place in Sandown’s showpiece chase when justifying his place at the head of the market to win the Grade 2 Shloer Chase on his seasonal comeback at Cheltenham on Saturday; finishing a length and a quarter ahead of second placed Politolgue.

The victory was the 12th win in a career spanning 18 starts for the dual Cheltenham Festival winner whose five Grade 1 wins are highlighted by the 2017 JCB Triumph Hurdle  (two miles, one furlong) and the 2019 JLT Novices’ Chase (two and a half miles).

At Cheltenham on Saturday, the J P McManus-owned Defi Du Seuil disputed a close second under Barry Geraghty, before being ridden after the last fence to lead for the final 120 yards, keeping on strongly to assert towards finish of the two-mile contest.

“I’m delighted he managed to win, as four runners is never ideal for a horse like him, especially when the pace isn’t that strong, and there was a lack of room there, though he managed to push out of the gap,” Hobbs said of his charge who won the Grade 1 888Sport Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown before securing his second Cheltenham Festival victory in March.

“Although he obviously stays very well he’s got loads of pace. And he’s very brave isn’t he? He does dig deep.

“I think we’ll take it race by race, but I should think it will be the Tingle Creek next,” Hobbs said of his charge who is favourite and best priced at 2-1 (William Hill) for the two-mile Tingle Creek Chase.

“He’s proven today he can do well over two miles, and Sandown is stiffer than here and will probably suit him better,” the trainer said.

Defi Du Seuil also has an entry in the three-mile Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. Hobbs said: “He’s entered, so it’s not completely written off, but I would think not.

“We had long discussions about that three-mile entry and one of the reasons we came here is that the two-mile division looks weaker, except perhaps for the Willie Mullins horse Chacun Pour Soi. He’d be the main one probably.”

Geraghty added: “I love this fella but this is such a great game, it’s great fun. Defi Du Seuil was so brave at the second last – deadly, deadly – and was good at the last as well. Good horses get you up in the morning.

“I didn’t have an option at the second last, it was the stride I was on, so he needed to come for me and he was brave. I would say he got a little frightened in the process but he didn’t show at the last, when he was good and committed.

“He is brilliant, just a great attitude, and Philip does a brilliant job with him. For a horse who isn’t that big, he has a lot of scope and a lot of heart.”

Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.