Triumph hero Defi Du Seuil set for Ascot start

Defi Du Seuil (l) pulls clear to win at the Festival last March

Defi Du Seuil is set to make his seasonal reappearance in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

Last season's Triumph Hurdle hero was among 10 entries after this near two-and-a-half mile contest was reopened.

The Philip Hobbs-trained four-year-old sidestepped Sunday's Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham to wait for this Grade Two prize.

"Yes, the plan is to run on Saturday. He's very much ready to go," said Hobbs.

Owner JP McManus has a second string to his bow in the admirable My Tent Or Yours, but trainer Nicky Henderson does not expect him to run as Defi Du Seuil is the first choice contender.

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Henderson was at Newbury on Tuesday morning to see Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D'Air enjoy a racecourse gallop, from where he said: "He (My Tent Or Yours) is fine and worked at home. He has been leading Buveur D'Air quite a bit and is pretty forward.

Buveur D'Air

"He is in at Ascot on Saturday. He's not going to go there, but is there as a back-up. If Defi Du Seuil was to tread on a stone, we have got cover for him. That is literally the only reason as far as I am concerned that he is in there.

"The International (Cheltenham, December 16) is still the plan. If he wasn't in on Saturday, he would have come here.

"He's loving it. There is a fair bit of wear and tear in bits of his body, but he is in great form and worked beautifully on Saturday.

"He has been working with Buveur D'Air for the last three weeks and I gave him a slightly nicer piece of work with two horses that you would expect him to beat and he absolutely hammered them."

Henderson has also entered L'Ami Serge and Top Notch, both owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Neil King's Lil Rockerfeller, runner-up to the McManus-owned Yanworth in this race 12 months ago, is in the mix along with the Paul Nicholls-trained Irving, Warren Greatrex's Dicosimo, Dan Skelton's Value At Risk and Karl Burke's Intense Tango.

Completing the 10 is the Karl Thornton-trained Wakea, who is the only Irish possible.

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