Defi stuns Un De Sceaux
In what was a repeat of their meeting in last month’s Tingle Creek, Defi Du Seuil produced an imperious display to uphold the form when he claimed the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
Un De Sceaux set the fractions early on but his effort petered out in the home straight where Defi Du Seuil was full of running to win by two and three-quarter lengths for trainer Philip Hobbs and owner JP McManus.
Winning jockey Barry Geraghty said: “Philip felt he’d really improved since Sandown and he certainly has. He felt really sharp and jumped superbly. He was brilliant.”
Defi Du Seuil has now won seven Grade 1s and all roads for Hobbs’ star seem pointed towards the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Ballyandy scores for Twiston-Davies team
Haydock’s Champion Hurdle Trial, named in honour of The New One, went the way of his former trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies as Ballyandy rallied late on to deny Pentland Hills in the Grade 2 at Haydock.
A photo-finish was called as the pair crossed the line together and to the shock of many, it was Ballyandy who was called the winner.
Elsewhere at Haydock, Vintage Clouds returned to his very best when he was an authoritative seven length winner of the Peter Marsh Chase.
Allmankind heading to Cheltenham
Triumph Hurdle prospect Allmankind, unbeaten in three starts this season, is to head straight to the Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer Dan Skelton revealed the news about Bill and Tim Gredley’s homebred on Saturday.
Speaking to the Racing Post, Skelton said: “I worked him this morning and he worked all right, but I know when he’s at his absolute best and he’s just ten per cent below that.
“He had his flu vaccination after Chepstow. Sometimes they get over it in a day and sometimes they get over it in a month, and he’s going to be more like a month.
“He’s one of the favourites for the Triumph and, if I can get him to turn up in the form that he’s been in, he’s going to be a top-end competitor and I’ve got to make sure that happens.”
Thurles’ card today features the Grade 2 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase (2m4f) with a field of five set to contest the race – Hardline, Voix Du Reve, Real Steel, Jetz and Footpad.
Jumps action also comes from Ayr today while Wolverhampton races on the all-weather.