Douvan Delights On Belated Return
Douvan (9g Walk In The Park - Star Face, by Saint Des Saints) delighted connections and racing fans alike when making a successful return from a 569 day break in the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase on Thursday.
The eight-time Grade 1 winner was sent off favourite in spite of his lengthy absence and Paul Townend rode him to chase the leaders for much of the extended two and a half mile contest. Improving to lead from the tenth fence and was still travelling well at the second last, he ran on to win by nine and a half lengths with ease.
A delighted and no doubt relieved Willie Mullins commented after the race, “He looked like the old Douvan today, to me. I was happy just to get here and to get to run. If he finished second or third, it'd be something we could build on. He did way more today than I expected. I'm much happier now than I have been at any stage over the last 569 days. I'd imagine it'll be Christmas for his next run.”
Douvan has been an absolute credit to connections since being purchased privately from France. Bred by SARL Haras De La Faisanderie, the son of Walk In The Park has won 14 of his 18 starts in the colours of Mrs Ricci and played a part in seeing his sire transfer to Grange Stud from the 2016 season.