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Trainer Philip Hobbs admits he and connections are biding their time before deciding what is Defi Du Seuil’s next race following his win earlier this month at Exeter.
The five-year-old started the campaign over fences for the first time but his debut did not go to plan as he finished last at Cheltenham in November. Defi Du Seuil also endured a poor end to his hurdling career after finishing fourth at Ascot in 2017, before then a run at Leopardstown failed to get the best out of him.
He finished seventh of eight back in February, but connections were finally rewarded for their hard work on December 7.
Defi Du Seuil beat the likes of Topofthegame, Black Op and Westend Story as he won the Heavitree Brewery PLC Novices’ Chase on the south coast. He went off at 9/1 but won by over three lengths and Hobbs admits that both the Arkle Chase and JLT Novices’ Chase are options for the Cheltenham Festival.
“He still jumped the first two less than perfect, but in the end it was very good. I was delighted with him and I’m sure he will benefit for the experience,” said Hobbs.
“We are discussing several options. Kempton is a sharp track and it is not ideal, so he probably won’t go there [Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase on December 27]. “There is a race at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day (Dipper Novices’ Chase) and he could go for that, but there are various options.
“We don’t know about his trip yet, either, so we could look at both the Arkle and JLT [at the Cheltenham Festival in March].”
Defi Du Seuil is 15.00 to win the Arkle next year, while he is 11.00 favourite to win the JLT.