DEFI Du Seuil came out on top in a thrilling four-horse race for the Grade 2 Shloer Chase at Cheltenham.
A previous five-times winner at the track, including twice at the Festival, the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil made his course form count against three smart rivals, to give Barry Geraghty a big-race victory following his return from a long-term injury.
Politologue made the running with Saint Calvados and Defi Du Seuil on his heels and Simply Ned content to sit in behind.
There was little change in the order until the second-last fence, and still not much to choose between the quartet.
But Defi Du Seuil soon looked to be Politologue’s biggest danger and, leading over the last, the 11/8 favourite powered up the hill to win by a length and a quarter.
Defi Du Seuil was cut to 15/8 from 5/2 for the Tingle Creek at Sandown next month, and Hobbs confirmed that would be the immediate target.
What a day for JP McManus - now it's his Defi Du Seuil who outsprints Politologue under @BarryJGeraghty in a cracking finish to the Shloer Chase. That's six winners on the day so far for the owner. ??@PJHobbs1 always a trainer to follow at #TheNovemberMeeting@CheltenhamRaces pic.twitter.com/ISvUxpGUD5— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 17, 2019
He said: “It was never going to be ideal when the pace is that slow, so I’m delighted he’s won. He obviously stays very well, but he has loads of pace.
“We’ll take it race by race, but I’d imagine he will go the Tingle Creek. Sandown is stiffer than here, so it will probably suit him.”