Racing UK

Ruby Walsh

Douvan has all the potential in the world - but no decisions have been made

29 November 2016

Douvan has all the potential in the world:

Douvan has been a big market mover for the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday but I could not tell you if he is definitely running.

I was with Willie Mullins this morning and he just said that he had the two entered, the other being Un De Sceaux, and that he will make a decision over which, if either, run later in the week.

I’d imagine one of them will probably run but as to which of them it will be I just don’t know.

Thankfully, I won’t have to make a decision - that will be Willie’s call.

What I can tell you is that Douvan seems in really good form, was a very good novice and is very exciting.

I see Sandown are saying the ground is good to soft, good in places and he would handle that.

He would be stepping into Grade One company and taking on horses like Special Tiara and Sire De Grugy but he has all the potential in the world.

I’ve been lucky enough to win the race on various horses over the years but they would all be very different.

For example, Kauto Star was coming back from 3m and his win in the Betfair Chase when successful in 2006, while Twist Magic, who win in 2007 and 2009, was not that consistent but very good on his day and especially good at Sandown. Cenkos might have got a bit lucky in 2002 as that was one of the years that Moscow Flyer didn’t get round.

Champagne Fever back with a bang:

The great race that Champagne Fever and Lord Windermere had at Thurles last week was a reminder that form is temporary, class is permanent.

They both bounced back after their respective absences - and it is always better when you come out a head ahead, rather than a head behind.

The 2m 6f trip was probably stretching the stamina of Champagne Fever, whereas it probably wasn’t enough of test for Lord Windermere.

Champagne Fever seems to have come out of the race in great form and I imagine his next run will be over Christmas.

Augusta Kate was very impressive on her hurdling debut on the same card. She had been working and schooling well but I was delighted with the way she jumped first time out.

She was running over an extended 2m7f but I would not read too much into that and imagine she will come back in trip for her next run.

Bellshill and Min both shine:

The fog was so bad at Gowran Park on Saturday that I suppose I could tell you anything I wanted about Bellshill’s win on his chasing debut.

It was a decent enough race and he jumped super in the main before quickening up well going to the second last, where he threw in a big jump and put the race to bed quite quickly. It was a pleasing start and hopefully he will build on that.

The following day Min did it really well on his debut over fences at Navan. He travelled super, looked where he was going and jumped really well.

He will have to improve on that, though, because it will be a different ball game against the likes of Identity Thief over Christmas.

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