Philip Hobbs thinks Sandown's two-mile course will suit Defi Du Seuil better than Cheltenham's in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase on Saturday.
The six-year-old won the JLT Novices' Chase over two-and-a-half miles at the Cheltenham Festival last season, beating subsequent Betfair Chase winner Lostintranslation, but has dropped back in distance this season.
He won the Shloer Chase over two miles at Cheltenham on his reappearance, but Hobbs thinks the greater test of stamina that Sandown should provide will be more in his favour.
"I always think that Sandown is a stiffer track then Cheltenham," Hobbs said.
"From the pond fence to the line it is a real test of stamina so it should suit him better than Cheltenham and he managed to win at Cheltenham over two miles so it should be more in his favour.
"He won the Scilly Isles Chase at Sandown over two miles. Very soft ground would be in our favour because if it is soft it would be more of a test over two miles.
"He was as fit as we could get him before Cheltenham. Most horses improve a bit for their first run of the season. I don't think there was a lot left to work on, I wouldn't want to be running him in Graded races when he is three quarters fit.
"He certainly might of come on a little bit but I don't expect massive improvement after that."
Hobbs hasn't ruled out stepping Defi Du Seuil back up in trip as the season progresses, but feels with Altior out of the picture - for the time being, perhaps - the two-mile division is there to be exploited.
"He is still only six and he could be better over a longer trip but we don't know that yet," Hobbs continued.
"There is plenty of room to improve further but he is already a very high class performer.
"I am sure he would stay further. When he won at the Cheltenham Festival it was over two and a half miles, so that will not be a problem. However, the two-mile division at the moment looks like the weaker division. He has got plenty of speed for two miles so it makes sense to aim for the Tingle Creek.
"I think you take every race one after another and reassess afterwards. We will run him at the trip which we think he is going to be most effective at and it will depend a bit on the opposition and what else is turning up as well.”