He was almost certain to be ranked the top four-year-old hurdler in training before the race, but his game win ended any speculation – ridden by Barry Geraghty in the colours of J P McManus, Defi Du Seuil won by one and a quarter lengths and four and a half lengths from Divin Bere and Bedrock, convincingly enough, if not with the sparkle of some of his victories. The winner, who had landed the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on his previous start, was sent off the 4/11 favourite.
His trainer, Philip Hobbs, said: “He’s definitely the best juvenile hurdler I’ve trained. We’ve had two other Triumph Hurdle winners [Detroit City and Made In Japan], but this would be the best.
“The plan for next season will be the [Stan James] Champion Hurdle, but we’ve got plenty of time to think about it. He’s very adaptable and massively tough and takes everything very well.
“The thing about juvenile [one-hit] wonders is that they have usually been in training since they were yearlings. This horse had a couple of AQPS bumpers [in France] but that is a bit different to a Flat horse that has been in training for a long time. I would certainly think he will train on and he’s by a Jump stallion [Voix Du Nord].
“He’s got fantastic attitude and he’s a lovely horse to deal with in every way.”
2.20pm Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
1 DEFI DU SEUIL (J P McManus) Philip Hobbs 4-11-00 Barry Geraghty 4/11 Fav
2 Divin Bere (Chris Giles) Nicky Henderson 4-11-00 Noel Fehily 7/2
3 Bedrock (The Risk Takers Partnership) Dan Skelton 4-11-00 Harry Skelton 25/1
Distances: 1¼, 4½
Tote Win: £1.30 Places: £1.10, £1.50, £5.00 Exacta:£2.50