Walk In The Park’s outstanding son Douvan (6g Walk In The Park-Star Face, by Saint Des Saints) had little more than a stroll around Cork on Sunday when winning the G2 Hilly Way Chase by 22 lengths.
It was a 12th consecutive success for the seven-time G1 winner who was shortened to 4/9 favouritism for the G1 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham by bookmakers after this display under Paul Townend.
“He was awesome. He was a bit gassy early but it was his first run of the year and did everything right,” said Townend.
David Casey, representing trainer Willie Mullins, added: “I was very impressed with him for his first run of the year. We know what he can do, but I have to say I think it was right up there with what he has done before. It was a very, very good performance.
“Paul said he was hacking at all stages, he thought he went very slow. He has so much class, he felt he was going slow at all stages — that’s the feel the horse would give you. It must be an exciting feeling to ride him. It’s a perfect start to the season. For his first step out of novice company, I thought it was a very impressive performance.”