Philip Hobbs today has taken his stable star Defi Du Seuil out of the Ryanair Chase which means she will head into the Queen Mother Champion Chase to take on Altior and Chacun Pour Soi in what looks the race of the four day meeting.
Defi Du Seuil has been faultless all year round 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.
The seven year old being finalised in this contest truly is what the Cheltenham festival is all about and having lead the market for the majority of the season he has now been joint at the top by the proven Altior with 9/4 and 2/1 the most common prices for the pair.
(Credit Racing Post) "He's been competing at two miles all season and he's won all of his races, so it makes sense to run him in the Champion Chase, although I'm sure he'd stay further no problem," Hobbs said.
"He's won at Cheltenham over two and a half so stamina wouldn't be a problem.
"It's all gone extremely well this season. Has it surpassed our expectations? I suppose we were hopeful he'd do what he's done, so it's all worked out as well as we could have expected."
Philip Hobbs had really no option in the grand scheme of things than to run his horse in the Champion Chase and has not taken the opposition as a factor.
I'd always rather we were a short-priced favourite and the other two weren't there. I don't want to be particularly involved in that – I want the easiest race I can find is what I'm trying to say!
"It's difficult to tell if Defi is the best horse I've trained at this stage. His rating wouldn't be the highest of who we've trained."