Cheltenham day four – behind the pedigrees

Defi Du Seuil: produced an impressive performance on Friday

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Cheltenham day four – behind the pedigrees
By Zoe Vicarage 7:40PM 17 MAR 2017

DEFI DU SEUIL produced an impressive performance to land the Grade 1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday by a commanding five lengths.

Trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson, he was held up as the pace was set and took the lead on the run to the final flight. As soon as he was in command, he never looked like being beaten and drew clear of his rivals to win the contest.

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A four-year-old son of Voix Du Nord, Defi Du Seuil was bred by the family of French champion jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot out of the winning Lavirco mare Quarvine Du Seuil and is a half-brother to the unplaced mare Brume Du Seuil. Further back it is the family of Grade 2-winning chaser Jimmy Tennis.

The late Voix Du Nord, a Group 1-winning son of Valanour, is no stranger to success at the festival having supplied 2016 Mares' Hurdle heroine Vroum Vroum Mag. This year she finished second behind Apple's Jade in the 2017 edition of the race.

Taquin Du Seuil, another of his offspring, looked back to his best with a second-placed effort in the Grade 3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle won by Supasundae.

Other leading performers for Voix Du Nord include Vibrato Valtat, Vaniteux and Voix D'Eau.

Penhill caps fabulous week for Boardsmill

Penhill rounded off a fabulous Cheltenham Festival for stallions residing at Boardsmill Stud in County Meath when he landed the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Under the guidance of jockey Paul Townend, he made his move entering the home straight and ran on strongly to claim the contest by three and a half lengths.

He was bred by Newsells Park Stud and Equity Bloodstock out of the unraced High Chaparral mare Serrenia. This was the second winner at the Cheltenham Festival that the Hertfordshire operation has been involved in breeding as it was the sole breeder of Coral Cup scorer Supasundae.

The six-year-old is a son of Group 1 winner Mount Nelson, who is standing his first season as a dual-purpose sire at Boardsmill Stud this year. His leading performers on the Flat include Group 2 scorer Berkshire and multiple winner Librisa Breeze.

Court Cave got on the board on Wednesday when Willoughby Court scored in the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle and Kalanisi was represented by a winner that day with Fayonagh's success in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper. All in all it was a fantastic few days for the Flood family's stud.

Success in the Albert Bartlett also capped a good week for the late High Chaparral as not only was he damsire of Penhill, he was the sire of impressive Arkle Chase hero Altior.

Sizing John strikes Gold

With her first runner in the showpiece event at the Cheltenham Festival, trainer Jessica Harrington struck gold when Sizing John outstayed them all to land the Grade 1 Timico Gold Cup.

The seven-year-old had been travelling well throughout the race and as Native River and Djakadam faded, he took the lead two fences from home. Once in front, he pulled clear to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

It was a red letter day for his breeder Bryan Mayoh, who had sent the Northern Crystal mare La Perrotine to the late Midnight Legend to produce Friday's superstar. Sizing John is a half-brother to hurdle winner Scholastica and is from the family of Listed-winning hurdler Le Chateau.

Midnight Legend was a son of Night Shift who was a talented performer over both codes and was a long-time resident of Pitchall Stud in Warwickshire.

Progeny who have flown the flag for him in recent times include Midnight Chase, Seeyouatmidnight, Easter Meteor and Holmwood Legend.

    Read More at Racing Post Bloodstock

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