Irish superstar Douvan won’t be at the Cheltenham Festival in 2018 after being ruled out for the season by trainer Willie Mullions.
Mullins has revealed that his seven-year-old chaser, who has lost just once over fences – when he was injured at Cheltenham last season – won’t be on track until next season.
“I haven’t been happy with Douvan over the past few days,” Ireland’s champion jumps trainer said.
“He appeared to have recovered from the problem that ruled him out of the Tingle Creek Chase but has been intermittently lame since we started doing more with him during the week.
“I have spoken to his owner, Rich Ricci, and because of the calibre of horse Douvan is we’ve decided to take a conservative approach and consequently he won’t be running this season.”
Douvan was one of the favourites for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March but Altior is firm favourite – although with his own fitness worries, the likes of Min and Politologue have been significantly shortened.
“With Altior facing his own race against time to be fit for the Cheltenham Festival, Min and Politologue are the two main market movers in the Champion Chase betting following the news of Douvan’s premature end to this season,” said Coral’s David Stevens.