The Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham took place on Saturday 28th January 2017.
The opening G2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle, worth £30,000, went the way of 1/5 favourite Defi Du Seuil (Philip Hobbs/Barry Geraghty), who made it five from five over hurdles with a very comfortable nine-length success over Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 6/1).
The defection of Charli Parcs, owned like the winner by JP McManus, saw Barry Geraghty take over the ride on Defi Du Seuil, who was winning for the third time at the Home of Jump Racing.
Always travelling well within himself, Defi Du Seuil tracked long-time leader Rainbow Dreamer before taking the lead ahead of the final flight and going right away on the run-in.
Philip Hobbs said: “There was no pace early on and only a few runners – Barry was probably just playing safe anyway – and I am delighted that everything went all right in the end.
“He has only ever run on soft ground, which he copes with well, but I don’t think good ground would be against him as well.
“He is a fantastic horse at home, so straightforward and easy, and massively tough. He takes everything so well – takes his racing well and eats well – and just very, very straightforward.
“I don’t think he will run again before The Festival and go straight there now.”
Barry Geraghty added: “The ground is hard work. It’s tacky and he jumped OK but I know that he can jump better. A horse crossed me at the first, which didn’t help, but he pinged the last on his previous two runs here – it wasn’t an option to ping it today because the ground is hard work. With an older horse, you wouldn’t feel the ground so much but, on a juvenile, it is not ideal.
“He is very happy on good to soft or easy round but, the way he travels, picks up and jumps, I would say that he would be fine on genuine good ground. He has loads of experience and loads of bottle.”