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Douvan will run in the Champion Chase but the head-to-head with Altior may not happen

The Wille Mullins-trained horse will take on Altior and Min on Wednesday.

Ruby Walsh will ride Douvan in the Champion Chase on Wednesday.
Ruby Walsh will ride Douvan in the Champion Chase on Wednesday.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated Mar 12th 2018, 1:13 PM

RUMOURS WERE RIFE on Sunday evening that Douvan’s connections were considering a switch to the Ryanair Chase in order to avoid taking on the fellow Rich Ricci-owned Min.

Indeed, trainer Willie Mullins went as far as telling the Racing Post:

“Having spoken to connections, we have decided we are likely to keep Min and Douvan apart.

“With the Ryanair looking like it might cut up a little, we are thinking about running Douvan in that along with Un De Sceaux.”

However, the mood in the Douvan camp has obviously shifted overnight as connections have instead opted to keep the highly talented eight-year-old in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday, avoiding a potential showdown with last year’s Ryanair winner Un De Sceaux.

Douvan has not raced since finishing a disappointing seventh in last year’s running of the Champion Chase at the Prestbury Park venue but was unbeaten in 13 starts prior to that reversal.

In addition to stablemate Min — who will have Paul Townend on board — Ruby Walsh’s mount was set to take on even-money favourite Altior.

However, his trainer Nicky Henderson tweeted this morning to suggest the head-to-head may not happen:

Henderson and his staff will monitor the situation and make another statement on Tuesday morning.

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Steve O'Rourke

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