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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 19 February, 2018

One of Willie Mullins' injured stars set to make a comeback just weeks before Cheltenham

Douvan has been declared for Saturday’s Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DOUVAN, WILLIE MULLINS’ beloved chaser, is set to make his comeback this weekend, opening the door to a possible appearance at the Cheltenham Festival next month.

The eight-year-old has not been seen since his disappointing run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at last year’s festival, where he suffered the first defeat of his career.

But he has been declared for Saturday’s Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park, and still holds entries for both the Queen Mother and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Douvan had earlier been ruled out for the entirety of the 2017/18 national hunt season after he was withdrawn from the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December.

“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,” Mullins said at the time.

But the recovery appears to have been quicker than expected, with Ricci rating Douvan as a “50-50″ chance for Cheltenham last month, before news of Saturday’s comeback was confirmed.

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