Defi Du Seuil Champion Hurdle gamble gathers pace 

Defi Du Seuil Champion Hurdle gamble gathers pace 

Philip Hobbs’ five-year-old has been backed to topple the machine Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle on Saturday 

Bookies have continued to slash the odds of last season’s Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil for the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown this weekend. Not seen since losing his unbeaten record over hurdles on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot, connections look set to send their former Juvenile star across the Irish sea to take on the best Ireland has to offer.

As big as 14/1 in the ante-post markets just seven days ago, the strong support from punters has seen those odds cut into as short as 3/1 (4/1 best price). 

The Willie Mullins pair of Faugheen and Melon occupy the two sports at the top of the market, with the former Champion Hurdle winner an uneasy 6/4 favourite with his stablemate a solid 7/4 shot. 

Over the last seven days, 44.09% of all bets on the race through Oddschecker have been for the UK raider with Faugheen (20.44%) even falling behind Melon in popularity (26.11%).

All three are arguably on retrieval missions after being beaten on their most recent starts yet it’s Faugheen who is shortest in the betting for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March 11/4 (NRNB) with Melon 6/1 and Saturday’s market mover Defi as big as 16's.

Oddschecker spokesperson George Elek: “Defi De Seuil has been absolutely smashed up in the last week in what is one of the biggest ante-post gambles of the season so far. One way of reading the shortening price of the Hobbs horse is a lack of confidence in Faugheen and Melon, which would cause havoc for Mullins backers come the Cheltenham Festival in March.”

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