Betway Champion Chase latest

Defi Du Seuil confirmed he will be sticking to the two-mile route this season – with the ultimate target the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, for which he is priced at – after winning the Tingle Creek on Saturday.

He beat a staying-on Un De Sceaux and Waiting Patiently, who both looked like they’d prefer a stiffer test.

While Defi is clearly a good horse, he doesn’t appear to be Championship standard to me, and I’d still look to oppose him at this stage.

I’d much prefer to be on Ciloas Emery for the big one at Cheltenham, who is currently .

He cemented himself as a chaser to keep on side with a commanding victory in the Hilly Way at Cork on Sunday. He travelled, jumped and put the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Along with Chacun Pour Soi, Min and Douvan, the Willie Mullins’ camp has a stronghold on the two-mile division this year.


Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

The Henry VIII is often a big Arkle clue but, this year, the race looked slightly weaker than previous affairs.

Grand Sancy travelled well but didn’t quite see the race out on his chase debut, but he’ll be winning a novice chase in calmer waters in the not-too-distant future.

The winner, Esprit Du Large, won well and his owners – who also won the Handicap Hurdle on the same card – will have plenty of good days out with this horse, but I don’t think he’ll be winning at the top level again.


Honourable mentions

Away from the bright lights of the big fixtures on Saturday, I was very taken by the first race of Drift Rock’s career. He was as green as grass on his racecourse debut but stuck on steadily and will be winning races before too long. He’s certainly one for the tracker.

On Sunday, Pagero took the first race at Huntingdon under a superbly cool ride by Jonjo O’Neill Jr.

I’d be very confident this horse will win again soon, and it wouldn’t surprise to see him out within the next 11 days to escape a penalty.

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