I saw this in today’s Racing Post:
Defi Du Seuil’s connections are leaning towards dropping him in trip at the Punchestown festival next week following his victory over two and a half miles in the JLT Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
The six-year-old, who also won the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown in February, has two Grade 1 entries at Punchestown, in the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase on Tuesday and the Ryanair Novice Chase on Thursday.
Frank Berry, racing manager for Defi Du Seuil’s owner JP McManus, said on Thursday: “Defi Du Seuil will be running at Punchestown and Philip [Hobbs] is very happy with him. We’re leaning towards dropping him to two miles in the Ryanair rather than going up to three miles in Tuesday’s race.
“But we’ll wait and see what happens with the weather and the ground over the next few days before making a final decision.”
That could well be significant in deciding Defi Du Seuil’s 2020 festival target. He’s hugely talented and has the speed to win a Queen Mother Champion Chase. Even with Altior in the field I’d expect Defi to be no more than 5/1. He’s as low as 8/1 now with a couple of firms but Skybet and Paddy Power offer 20/1, and even though you’d be tying up cash as well as hoping he stays injury free, that price makes it well worth risking from a value perspective, especially as Altior is expected to tackle Kempton’s King George at Christmas.
If Altior wins the King George – and he has a strong chance of doing so – he might miss the Queen Mother Champion Chase for the Gold Cup. If that happened Defi Du Seuil would be close to favourite for the Champion Chase, depending on the performances of the sometimes erratic Min.