DEFI Du Seuil saw off the veteran Un De Sceaux in a pulsating climax to the Grade 1 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Eight runners went to post for the near two-mile feature, with the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil the marginal favourite at 2/1, ahead of the five years older Un De Sceaux and the grey Politologue, both previous winners of the race.
What a race!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 7, 2019
Defi Du Seuil lands a thrilling @Betfair Tingle Creek at @Sandownpark. Six years old, six-time G1 winner ??
What a blinder too from 11-year-old Un De Sceux in second, and Waiting Patiently comes from a mile back in third! pic.twitter.com/uUGK8YgxDW
Ornua took the field along for much of the race, before the 11-year-old Un De Sceaux took over racing down the back straight in the hands of Paul Townend.
Barry Geraghty covered the move aboard Defi Du Seuil and the pair rounded the final turn ready to do battle.
Just for a moment it looked like Un De Sceaux had his rival in serious trouble, but Defi Du Seuil managed to get on terms and then looked set to win decisively after touching down in front after the final fence.
However, Un De Sceaux – successful in the 2016 renewal – refused to go down without a fight and came roaring back up the hill, with just a neck splitting the pair at the line.
Only three-quarters of a length away in third was northern raider Waiting Patiently, with Ruth Jefferson’s stable star bouncing right back to his best to offer plenty of hope for the rest of the campaign.