Hobbs sights set on Auteuil date for Thyme Hill

Philip Hobbs will be looking to continue his red-hot start to the season when he takes stable star Thyme Hill to France for the Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil next month.

Thyme Hill was the length of Paisley Park’s neck away from going unbeaten last season, but he missed the Cheltenham Festival because of a minor setback.

Hobbs has decided to look at the Grade One race on November 6, won by the likes of Reve De Sivola, Zarkandar and Thousand Stars in recent years, because of the huge prize fund on offer, with more than €150,000 to the winner.

“Things have started well this season, and we’re still thinking of Auteuil for Thyme Hill,” said Hobbs.

“The prize money is so much better, and it gives us a longer gap before the Long Walk (at Ascot on December 18).

“It’s over three miles, and I’m presuming it will be wet. It’s in a fortnight, so that’s what we’re thinking – it’s a lot of money and a good option.”

Another of Hobbs’ stars, Defi Du Seuil, did not enjoy such a good time last season – and the trainer has found no obvious reason for his disappointing displays.

“I think he’s likely to start in the Grade Two at Ascot (Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase) on November 20, the same day as the Betfair Chase,” said the Minehead trainer.

“He seems in very good nick at the moment, and I’m hoping we can just forget last season.

“We didn’t put our finger on anything. We had a number that ran below form – although we had 60 winners last season, it was well below par.

“It was different, what with Covid and everything, but hopefully we’re back to normal.”

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