The brilliant Douvan completed his preparations for the Cheltneham Festival with a comfortable win in the BoyleSports Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown.
Ruby Walsh never got out of second gear on the brilliant seven-year-old chaser, who went off at 1/14 and trainer Willie Mullins was delighted to see him return home unscathed.
“He’s deadly. I gave him a squeeze at the back of the second-last and he jumped out through the bridle. He won as he liked – probably as you’d expect him to win,” said Walsh after taking the win.
“I’d suppose it’s the old adage – the better horse you ride, the faster they go and the easier it is to ride them. He just has a huge amount of natural ability he’s a pleasure to ride.”
Douvan remains a short price favourite to take the Champion Chase and Mullins was delighted: “I’m relieved that’s over. He’s probably not showed anything that he hasn’t showed us before.”
A joy to watch – Douvan makes it 13 wins from 13 starts in the UK and Ireland with a flawless jumping performance in the Tied Cottage Chase: pic.twitter.com/p8bikCKJwg
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) February 5, 2017
We spoke to one of TheGamblingTimes.com’s racing experts – leading bloodstock agent Paddy Barry – who was impressed with the display of Douvan, even if we all expected it.
“He jumped like a stag”
“He did what we pretty much expected, but he jumped like a stag! And he did it all in second gear. He has to be a certainty for Cheltenham.”