Defi Du Seuil wins Clarence House Chase in Ascot

Ruben Hill
January 21, 2020

Defi Du Seuil strengthened his case for running in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March with a decisive win from Un De Sceaux in the Matchbook Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Philip Hobbs' stable star had narrowly beaten Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown last month - and confirmed the form in emphatic fashion.

For most of the journey Un De Sceaux led, jumping from fence to fence, with Defi du Seuil sitting on his tail and when they turned for home, the Irish challenger a length up, it looked momentarily like we were in for a Grundy v Bustino duel up the straight.

Last year Defi won by a neck when these two clashed at Sandown, this time the winning margin was a confident two and three-quarter lengths.

Un De Sceaux had been just a neck behind him in last month's Tingle Creek and as a triple victor of the Clarence House was expected to make another close race of it. Maybe he could have taken it at a faster pace, but he jumped consistently well. "It wasn't the plan to hit the front that far out, it was to hit the front after the last but he didn't have much option".

He added: "Nothing is definite (Cheltenham target) - there's no need for us to decide now".

"I suppose with the pace he showed there it's a bit more likely, the Champion Chase, but we'll see nearer the time".

"To be honest, I think he can go on any trip, so it doesn't really matter". He won seven grade ones for us and no other horse we had had a number like that, so he has to be at the top of the stack. We have been very happy since Sandown and Barry said it was good for him to have a tough race in Sandown for this horse.

Elsewhere, Robbie Power believes the path to the Grand National will go through Cheltenham for classy mare Magic of Light.

Geraghty said: "It wasn't the plan to be there so early, but he absolutely flew and landed and ran".

"He felt really strong today, he was a spring heel in the penultimate and took him to bed".

We didn't improve from our last run, so I was very disappointed but that is the way it is.

"I thought ground conditions would suit us".

"Obviously we'll see what Jessica thinks but I'd say the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham would be flawless before looking to Aintree".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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