Hobbs Hoping For Rain Ahead Of Defi's Return At Cheltenham

Defi Du Seuil

Leading trainer Philip Hobbs has explained his stable star Defi Du Seuil is flying at home ahead of his seasonal debut on Sunday in the Shloer Chase, but does admit he would like some more rain to fall on the track before the off.

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 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 he is said to be back firing on all cylinders and he will be looking to land the race he won last year before taking the big Two mile Grade Ones in England.

“We are planning to run him, but maybe I have a slight reservation about the fact that we could do with more rain for him to produce his real best,” said Hobbs about the going which is officially good, good to soft in places. “Most of his racing over two miles has been on soft ground.”

With Barry Geraghty retiring last season, Richard Johnson has been given the honour of riding the jumping star again with the last time the two were paired together was at the 2019 Punchestown Festival, when he finished second behind the smart Chacun Pour Soi.

The two have landed Grade One glory together at Prestbury Park with the four time champion jockey steering him into the winners enclosure after superb performance in the Triumph Hurdle at the 2017 Cheltenham festival.