Former National Hunt superstar Douvan is in line to make his return from over eighteen months off the track having featured amongst the final declarations for tomorrow’s Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase.
The dual Cheltenham Festival winner won his first thirteen starts for Willie Mullins before suffering a shock defeat in the 2017 Queen Mother Champion Chase – where he was subsequently found to have suffered a stress fracture to his pelvis.
The nine-year-old has been limited to just the two starts since, falling four-out in the 2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase when travelling ominously under Patrick Mullins before chasing home stablemate Un De Sceaux at Punchestown just a month later.
Rated in the mid 170’s at his peak, Douvan faces just the four rivals at Clonmel in his bid to get his career back on track, with arguably the most interesting of those being the Henry De Bromhead trained Monalee.
This will be the first time that Douvan has raced beyond 2m1f, but his powerful yard has farmed this race in recent years, having taken four of the last six renewals – including last season with subsequent three-time Grade 1 winner Kemboy.
Paul Townend takes the ride on the Rich and Susannah Ricci-owned nine-year-old tomorrow and receiving upwards of three pounds from the remainder of the field, he would clearly have outstanding claims on these terms if recapturing his latent ability.
Our selection for the race along with a runner-by-runner preview will be available later today on our free horse racing tips page.