Defi Du Seuil Ruled Out Of The Cheltenham Festival

Defi Du Seuil

Multiple Grade One winner over fences and hurdles, Defi Du Seuil will not be heading to the Cheltenham festival this year with his trainer Philip Hobbs happy to pull up stumps for this term and bring him back better than ever next season.

Defi Du Seuil has been a superstar for Philip Hobbs over the last few years landing numerous Grade Ones over both hurdles and fences and he makes his return in the Shloer Chase on Sunday at Prestbury Park.

Having been faultless in his three runs last term before the festival, winning all three of his contests over two miles including back to back Grade Ones in his last two runs in the Clarence House and Tingle Creek.

He headed to the festival going into the Champion Chase that fell apart in truth, and gave a below par effort, with everything going wrong for the chaser on the day.

Back for another season, Hobbs was hoping he could bounce back to form in the Grade Two Shloer Chase which he landed last term, but again gave a very underwhelming run which saw him pulled up before the finish.

It was starting to become worrying that he did not show the best of his ability on his last few starts and Hobbs sent him to Ascot in the Clarence House Chase in January to try and find his form of old.

Having landed the event last year, many knew he still has that ability in him but again he failed to show it in the Grade One event, although running a better race than he has recently, he still could only manage to finish fifth of eight.

Having put in numerous below par runs and it a tight turn around from Hobbs to get the horse in prime state to be able to challenge in the Champion Chase, the yard made the decision to take him out of the race and save him for next season.

(Credit Racing Post) Hobbs said of the dual festival hero: "It has been decided after Ascot he is better off missing the rest of the season. There's no reason at all why he shouldn't be back properly next season, but having had two disappointing runs we felt that was the best thing to do.

"It was going to get very tight to get him to Cheltenham this year so it seemed to make more sense to give him a break. He is still with us at the moment, but he will go back to Martinstown [owner JP McManus's home]."