|Listed, Cheltenham 14:25
2m 35yds, Class 1
|Sunday 17th November 2019
1 Defi Du Seuil 11/8F
3 Simply Ned 20/1
4 ran Distances: 1¼l, 5l, shd
Time: 4m 10.01s (slow by 18.01s)
Philip Hobbs is having a November Meeting to savour, and 24 hours after rising star Thyme Hill
took the G2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
he was back in the winner's enclosure with dual Festival winner Defi Du Seuil, who justified 11/8 favouritism by a length and a quarter from Politologue
in a race as thrilling as it was classy.
Defi Du Seuil clearly has a very special place in the Hobbs household, and the trainer admitted to having a frog in his throat as the six-year-old battled up the hill for a twelfth career success from 18 starts.
He said: "I'm delighted he managed to win, as four runners is never ideal for a horse like him, especially when the pace isn't that strong, and there was a lack of room there, though he managed to push out of the gap.
"Although he obviously stays very well he's got loads of pace. And he's very brave isn't he. He does dig deep."
He said: "I think we'll take it race by race but I should think it will be the Tingle Creek
[Sandown, December 7] next. He's proven today he can do well over two miles, and Sandown is stiffer than here and will probably suit him better."
Defi Du Seuil also has an entry in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase
, but Hobbs said: "He's entered, so it's not completely written off, but I would think not. We had long discussions about that three-mile entry and one of the reasons we came here is that the two-mile division looks weaker, except perhaps for the Willie Mullins horse Chacun Pour Soi. He'd be the main one probably."
Reflecting on today's success, Geraghty, retained rider for JP McManus, said: "I love this fella but this is such a great game, it's great fun. Defi Du Seuil was so brave at the second last - deadly, deadly - and was good at the last as well. Good horses get you up in the morning.
"I didn't have an option at the second last, it was the stride I was on, so he needed to come for me and he was brave. I would say he got a little frightened in the process but he didn't show at the last, when he was good and committed.
"He is brilliant, just a great attitude, and Philip does a brilliant job with him. For a horse who isn't that big, he has a lot of scope and a lot of heart."
POS DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
£75,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 35yds, Class 1
Going: Soft, Heavy in places
1 Defi Du Seuil 6 11-3 Philip Hobbs Barry Geraghty 11/8F
2 1¼ Politologue 8 11-6 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 5/2
3 5 Simply Ned 12 11-6 Nicky Richards Brian Hughes 20/1
4 shd Saint Calvados 6 11-4 Harry Whittington Gavin Sheehan 85/40