The rain come down on Saturday, as was promised by many a weather tipster online through the morning and although the ground held up reasonably well, by the last it became a bit of a slog at Cheltenham. Whisper came back to some form for Seven Barrows in the G2 Novice Chase, as the big hope Different Gravey bounced horribly after his win at Ascot. Other than that it was quiet day for Nicky Henderson. My Tent Or Yours is done as a racehorse, no more can we write a line through his run and wait until next time. Yes, the ground wasn’t ideal but not being able to beat a field lacking any real threat, whilst receiving 8lbs from the majority is high sign time could be up. Frodon was a game winner of the feature Caviar Chase, although Kylemore Lough did everything bar win and a number of major blunders prevented what would have surely been victory. You would do well to confidently say any festival winners will appear from today, except perhaps in the juvenile category.
Runs of The Day: Cheltenham
12 05 DEFI DU SEUIL (P Hobbs) 4/6, C2 Juvenile Hurdle, 2M1F, Soft (Good To Soft In Places)
After Landofhopeandglory won stylishly at Fairyhouse last weekend, Defi Du Seuil responded six days later in the opener at Cheltenham in fine fettle. They are now both 6/1 in places for the Triumph Hurdle; and although Joseph O’Brien’s 3YOs form us undoubtedly much stronger on paper, we certainly haven’t got to the bottom of Hobbs horse yet. Coeur De Lion ran bravely in second, but was never catching the winner up the hill and the 2L margin could have been far greater in reality. It was a muddling race with a very up and down pace – the sort of race an odds on favourite can find difficult at times, but Defi Du Seuil’s class told by the bucket loads. Whilst it is still early – and contenders are still to emerge – it’s safe to say that JP McManus will have a very strong hand in the Triumph; and just splitting these is hard work right now.