In a thrilling Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, Defi Du Seuil proved once again why he is one of the most highly-regarded geldings in the sport. In a race full of twists and turns, Defi Du Seuil streaked into the lead towards the end and held off a strong late challenge by Un De Sceaux to get the victory. It was a top-drawer performance, and a fine display from jockey Barry Geraghty to come up trumps in a close-fought race.
That triumph made it four wins from the last five outings for Defi Du Seuil, a record that stretches back to early February. Having defeated some big names in that time, such as Lostintranslation, confidence will be high for those around Defi Du Seuil and those betting on horse races that there are more good times on the way. Let’s take a look at how the 6-year-old gelding has become such a formidable force in horse racing.
Philip Hobbs is an experienced and well-respected trainer, having had winners at all the major festivals in England, Ireland and France. He has a large yard of over 100 horses, but there is a sense that Defi Du Seuil is a special case, that there is more hope pinned on him than any of the others.
Having such an experienced trainer has helped Defi Du Seuil to improve. Hobbs knows what it takes to train champion racehorses and this is the latest example of his expertise yielding results. It would be remiss to call Defi Du Seuil the finished article, and there is still more development ahead, but at the moment all the signs are positive.
“He has a fantastic attitude,” Hobbs said after the recent victory at Sandown. “He is very versatile, so we could go any trip with him.”
The Geraghty factor
As well as having a fine trainer leading the way, jockey Geraghty has proven his worth in Defi Du Seuil’s saddle. At 40 years old, the Irishman also has a wealth of knowledge and experience, having ridden a wide variety of horses throughout his career. Geraghty has numerous major wins to his name and is the perfect jockey to get the best out of Defi Du Seuil.
He is the fourth-most successful jump jockey in Britain and Ireland, only behind legendary names such as Sir AP McCoy, Richard Johnson and Ruby Walsh. In Defi Du Seuil’s last five races, Geraghty has been in the saddle for all four victories, while the one second-place finish came with Johnson at the reins. While both jockeys have enjoyed success on Defi Du Seuil, it appears that Geraghty has that special connection at the moment which is yielding tremendous success.
After the Tingle Creek Chase win, Geraghty was quick to laud the horse’s potential: “He’s a lovely horse because he really wants to please you. He’s not a champion yet but he’s getting there”
As always with a winning racehorse, the question is ‘what next?’ For Hobbs and Geraghty, thoughts may turn to the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham. That would be another big race to win, but it’s important that both jockey and trainer stay grounded if Defi Du Seuil is to scale the heights that match his potential.