DEFI Du Seuil is in a race against time to be ready for next weekend’s Clarence House Chase.
The Philip Hobbs-trained star thumped Un De Sceaux in the Ascot Grade 1 last season.
But his chasing career has hit the skids since, as he suffered a heavy defeat in the Champion Chase when the odds-on favourite.
He underwent tests after he was pulled up on his return to action in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham in November – but nothing came to light.
Hobbs has taken a patient approach with the former Festival hero since his latest flop.
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And he admits it’s touch and go whether the eight-year-old will make the showdown with reigning Champion Chaser Politologue on January 23.
Hobbs said: “He’s in good form at home, everything appears to be going to plan with him and he’s done some nice work.
“We checked him over but nothing came to light after the Shloer Chase, it was just one of those things.
“We just decided to back off him afterwards. I’m not sure yet if he is going to be ready in time for Ascot, but we hope he is.”
He is currently the 5-2 second favourite with Paddy Power for the Clarence House behind Evens jolly Politologue.
The Game Spirit Chase at Newbury in February is believed to be the back-up option for Somerset trainer Hobbs if he can’t get Defi ready in time for Ascot.
But the yard’s other leading light Thyme Hill will head straight to the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham without a prep run.
He has developed a cracking rivalry with Paisley Park this winter, coming out on top at…
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