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Champ and Defi Du Seuil to miss weekend engagements

01 Dec 2021
Jon Vine 01 Dec 2021
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  • We bring you the news that two stars will miss their weekend engagements
  • Defi Du Seuil won't attempt to win back his Tingle Creek crown
  • Champ will also miss his intended reappearance in the Many Clouds Chase
  • Nicky Henderson has also given Champ an entry in the Long Walk Hurdle
defi tingle
Barry Geraghty riding Defi Du Seuil (green) clear the last to win The Betfair Tingle Creek Chase from Un De Sceaux in 2019. (Getty)

Two of jumps racing's biggest names will be missing on Saturday, after Defi Du Seuil and Champ were withdrawn from their respective races.

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Despite a poor run on his reappearance at Ascot, Defi Du Seuil was due to take up his entry in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on Saturday. Sadly, Philip Hobbs' charge won't attempt to win back the crown he lifted in 2019, with his trainer fearing the ground at Sandown may be a little too quick for his star chaser.

"Defi Du Seuil won’t be going to Sandown on Saturday." Hobbs revealed to the Racing Post today. 

"Firstly we just feel it might be coming a bit quick after Ascot. And secondly, the ground looks like it might be on the quicker side and we just feel that these days, he might need a bit further than two miles in those conditions."

Another JP McManus flag-bearer who won't be in action this weekend is Champ, who still hasn't been seen since pulling up in the Gold Cup.

champ cheltenham RSA chase
Champ ridden by Barry Geraghty on the way to winning the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase (Grade 1) at Cheltenham. (Getty)

Nicky Henderson had intended to get his former RSA winner out in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree on Saturday. However, the 70-year-old revealed to Nick Luck this weekend that Saturday's race will come a little too soon.

"We thought about the Many Clouds but we're going to leave that alone for now and just see how things go." Henderson said, "He's one that's just got a bit to find yet and he probably wants some easier ground as well."

Henderson also revealed that Champ will be given an entry in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot just before Christmas. There have been several calls over the past 18 months for Champ to return to hurdling, and it seems Nicky Henderson is seriously considering the move.

"He's difficult to place." Henderson continued. "You saw in the Gold Cup, we’ve just got to get his jumping right. He'll school tomorrow and then we'll decide which route to take."

Two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Al Boum Photo could make his return in the Many Clouds Chase, depending on whether Willie Mullins deems the ground suitably soft. Mullins will be on weather watch at Sandown too, where Chacun Pour Soi tops the betting for the Tingle Creek.


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