Defi Du Seuil Lays Down Triumph Hurdle Claims
The opening race on Cheltenham’s Saturday card resulted in a shake-up of the ante-post market for the JCB Triumph Hurdle following the impressive victory of the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil who readily disposed of his four rivals to take the significant trial, in the process earning a top quote of 10-1 with Ladbrokes for the juvenile final on the last day of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
Sent off the 4-6 favourite the mount of Barry Geraghty came through to head the front running Coeur de Lion at the final hurdle and only had to be shaken up on the run-in to keep his unbeaten record over hurdles following wins at Ffos Las and Cheltenham’s Open meeting last month. The Joseph O’Brien-trained Landofhopeandglory still heads the Triumph Hurdle betting with most bookmakers ( standout 8-1 with Coral ) although Irish firm Paddy Power can not split the pair at 6-1.
Following the abandonment of last week’s meeting at Exeter connections of the dual Stan James.com International Hurdle winner The New One made the decision to put the gelding’s chasing career on hold by attempting to emulate both Birds Nest and Relkeel as only the third horse to win the Grade 3 contest for a third time and they were justly rewarded as the son of King’s Theatre ( sent off the 13-8 favourite after being available at 7-2 in the morning ) outstayed ante-post market leader My Tent Or Yours who, despite receiving 8lb from the winner, could not produce his best form on the rain-softened ground, the pair pulling well clear of the Paul Nicholls inmate Old Guard.
Just where The New One will end up at the Cheltenham Festival is anyone’s guess at this stage with the eight-year-old quoted at 25-1 by the sponsor for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, the same price with Skybet, Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook for the World Hurdle and a general 20-1 for the Arkle despite the fact that the horse has yet to jump a fence in public. Winning jockey Richard Johnson was full of praise for his mount on dismounting, saying: “ He’s been a great horse. I don’t know if he will go chasing, but it was a great decision to run him today.”
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