Chelteham 2019: Defi Du Seuil delivers brilliant blow on Day Three of Cheltenham

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The pair had locked horns at Cheltenham in January when Lostintranslation had come out on top, but he was put in his place when the pair crossed swords at Sandown in February and yesterday Defi Du Seuil decisively settled any dispute as to who is the superior.

Punters were in no doubt – Defi Du Seuil was sent off 3-1 favourite.

“He jumped beautifully,” said Philip Hobbs, the winning trainer. “There was not one blip. He has been phenomenal and is our flagship horse at the moment. He’s the most amazing horse as he is so tough, loves the job and is so sound.”

Geraghty was also full of praise for the 2017 Triumph Hurdle winner.

“I was banking on a big one at the last and he came up trumps,” he said. “He’s a very good horse and Philip’s done a good job.”

Hobbs is undecided about future plans but nominates next year’s Ryanair Chase here as the likely target, but if the ground was testing the Champion Chase would be an option.

Colin Tizzard, responsible for Lostintranslation, who was ridden by Robbie Powerr, said: “There’s not that much between them, but a length or two is enough. We’ll probably go up in trip next year, he’s a Gold Cup horse of the future.”

Geraghty gave Sire Du Berlais a “masterful ride” to land an ante-post gamble in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.

The seven-year-old didn’t boast the best of form figures, but had sneaked into the race with an eye-catching run at Leopardstown after Christmas and was sent off 4-1 favourite in a field of 24.

But those who invested were biting their nails when he was one of the first under pressure. He was traded at 239-1 in running.

With at least seven horses all having a chance approaching the last, Geraghty somehow kept coaxing more and more out of his mount, hitting the front late to repel the last dashes of Tobefair, Not Many Left and Cuneo.

Geraghty, who was doubling up after his JLT Chase victory, said: “I’d no sooner collared Mark Walsh on my right than Tobefair came at me on the left and we needed the line.”

Veteran jockey Noel Fehily snatched a last gasp victory on 50-1 shot Eglantine Du Seuil in the Mares Novices’ Hurdle – and promptly announced his retirement.

“I’m not getting any younger and this is a young man’s game,” he explained. “It will be difficult to walk away and it will be hard to adjust, but it just seems the right thing to do.

“I said that if I had a winner here, this would be my last season.”

Fehily had some notable Festival wins, including the Champion Hurdle on Rock On Ruby and Buveur D’Air and the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Special Tiara.

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