Defi Du Seuil Ready for Chasing Campaign
It was only two seasons ago that Defi Du Seuil looked to be a star of the future, winning all of his seven starts as a juvenile hurdler. Those victories included three in Grade One company, including the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. At the end of that season, he was spoken about as a potential future Champion Hurdler, but when he returned the season after things didn’t go to plan.
A combination of problems and niggling injuries, alongside going in to the deep end and facing older horses meant that we only saw him twice last season. He was the disappointing odds-on favourite when reappearing in a Grade Two at Ascot last November, and ran even worse in the Irish Champion Hurdle in February of this year. Since that run he has been away from the yard, going home to visit his owner and now back in training, the talk is that he has returned a different horse.
Still only five, there is a lot left in the tank yet, and this season he will move up into the chasing division. Reports tell us that he has been fantastic when schooling over the fences at home, with Richard Johnson particularly impressed with what the horse has shown.
We will get to see the horse jump over fences for the first time in public this Sunday, and trainer Phillip Hobbs is certainly not giving him an easy introduction. Defi Du Seuil will head to Cheltenham this weekend, a track that attracts a whole host of good horses, and one that can be very difficult to jump for those with little or no experience. That straight away puts the horse up against it, but is also a sign of just how much Hobbs thinks of him.
We often see novice chase prospects starting their season somewhere small to give them an easy introduction, but these races are often very uncompetitive so we don’t learn too much as punters. However, on Sunday we will learn plenty about a horse that has the potential to go all the way to the top if he is over the problems he had last season.
A fascinating Cheltenham three day meeting awaits us this weekend, and we will get the chance to see many stars. One of the most interesting on show is going to be Defi Du Seuil on Sunday, when he embarks on his chasing career.