Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse racing tips and the latest news.
PHILIP Hobbs has given an upbeat report on the well-being of Defi Du Seuil ahead of his rematch with Un De Sceaux in the Grade 1 Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
Defi Du Seuil finished a neck ahead of three-time Clarence House Chase winner Un De Sceaux to win the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December to secure his sixth Grade 1 victory and 13th win in a career spanning 19 starts.
At Sandown Defi Du Seuil raced close to the pace throughout, taking the lead at the last fence before idling in the closing stages.
The seven-year-old is bidding for his first win at Ascot after he was well-beaten in his sole start at the Berkshire track in 2017. He faces heavy ground in Saturday’s two miles and one furlong contest where he appears to have a formidable opponent in the Willie Mullins-trained Un De Sceaux, winner the Grade 1 feature in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“Defi Du Seuil schooled yesterday and worked this morning and it was all very good. Everything couldn’t be better with him,” Hobbs said on Tuesday morning (the Sporting Life report).
“He’s coped very well with soft ground in the past so I don’t see that as a problem. The soft ground will make it more of a test of stamina which is fine as far as we are concerned, as we know he stays two and a half miles.
“He’s won on soft ground plenty of times before including the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow which he won very, very easily in desperate conditions and also the Scilly Isles at Sandown a year ago.”
“He’s a very tough horse and he could probably run more often but at the same time, Cheltenham [where he has entries in Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and Ryanair Chase] is obviously the main objective and you don’t want to be going too often to the well beforehand.”
Hobbs added: “I thought between the last two [fences of the Tingle Creek Chase] that he’d go and win well but he just got a bit lonely after jumping the last.”
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.