Defi Du Seuil in form and set for February return

Connections of Defi Du Seuil remain in no rush to map out a second-half-of-the-campaign programme for last season’s champion juvenile hurdler.

Defi Du Seuil and Barry Geraghty jump the last to win the Grade 1 Doom Bar 4YO Juvenile Hurdle. Pic: HEALY RACING

The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding took all before him last term with seven wins in a row that included three Grade Ones.

However, he flopped on his reappearance when a well-beaten fourth to Lil Rockerfeller in the Coral Hurdle over two miles three and a furlongs in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot in November.

“He’s in good form. No plans at the minute,” said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus.

“He’s had a nice break. We’ll see how he is at the end of the month or early February.”

Hobbs confirmed Defi Du Seuil was well on the road to returning to the track.

He said: “Nothing definite, but I imagine he’s going to see a racecourse in February.

“Things are good with him now. That would be the plan, but I don’t know where.”

Meanwhile a mile and three-quarters on Fibresand should be just the job for Alternate Route in the Betway Amateur Riders’ Handicap at Southwell.

The Mark Prescott-trained four-year-old has generally alternated between a mile and a half and two miles, but was meant to have a first try at this distance at this track in December only to be a non-runner.

He came out after that to run second over 12 furlongs at Lingfield just before Christmas, again leaving the impression this track and distance will suit.

Dawn Dancer can put his best foot forward and open his account at the third attempt in the sunbets.co.uk Download The App Maiden Stakes.

The son of Dawn Approach came on leaps and bounds for his first run, when staying on to take clear second place behind the odds-on favourite On The Warpath over seven furlongs on this track five and a half weeks ago.

The winner has gone on to score again and the Andrew Balding-trained Dawn Dancer can appreciate the step up to a mile.

The Amber Fort showed his turn was surely near when running Kommander Kirkup to a neck two weeks ago and can go one better in the Betway Sprint Handicap.

The four-year-old, trained by David O’Meara, has only one won once in 15 career starts, and that was back in August 2016, but he generally puts in a decent display and this could be his day.

Kadrizzi can capitalise on a drop in grade thanks to his decreasing mark in the 32Red Handicap at Kempton.

Dean Ivory’s sprinter has been on a losing run since winning at Ascot in August 2016, when his rating rose from 97 to 103.

He has now slipped to 85 which means he can take his chance in this Class Four contest.

Erinyes might be able to add another course and distance success by way of the 32Red.com Handicap.

Very First Time is fancied to carry on his good work over fences by completing a hat-trick at Wetherby.

After getting off to an inauspicious start when falling two out on this course in early November when holding every chance in the race won by Some Invitation, the six-year-old has put that behind him with victories at Hexham and Newcastle.

The Tim Easterby-trained six-year-old has quickly got the hang of the jumping game and can carry the famous colours of owner Trevor Hemmings to another success in the Jump To It And Join Racing UK Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Dark Sunset appreciated the step up to an extended three miles when winning a handicap at Doncaster three weeks ago and can handle a 5lb rise in the Bet At racinguk.com Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

It was only in the last 100 yards that the Donald McCain-trained seven-year-old got up to deny Big Penny by two lengths and there looks to be more to come.


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