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Douvan a convincing winner upo...

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Douvan a convincing winner upon return at Clonmel

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

03:49 14 Nov 2019


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Douvan made a winning comeback with victory in the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase at the County Tipperary course.

Under jockey Paul Townend the 9-year old came home 9-and-a-half lengths ahead of nearest challenger - the Jessica Harrington-trained Jett.

Douvan hadn't seen action since a second-place finish behind Un De Sceaux in the 2018 Punchestown Champion Chase all of 19 months ago.

Speaking with Racing TV after the race Townend said, "It was nice to get him back on the track, and to win is even more special."

The Cork jockey feels things were far from straight forward, however, "He went to sleep on me probably halfway around and galloped into one, and I suppose all his life he was left galloping jumping and [in] a good 2-mile chase we're trying to slow him down today.

"Job done today - hopefully, he'll be alright and build on it."

Townend feels the 2016 Arkle-winner was fine over the 2m4f trek today, "We never had to try it before, but this race fitted in nicely. Fair play to Willie [Mullins] for getting him back on the track and hopefully we'll see a lot more of him."

Today's win has seen Douvan's odds narrow for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Stephen's Day, but the Willie Mullins-trained horse is still sixth favourite behind the likes of Altior, Cyrname, Clan des Obeuax, Lostintranslation and Road To Respect.

Despite a couple of wobbles, especially at the second-from-home, Douvan's also had his odds cut for both the Ryanair Chase and the Champion Chase.

"The engine is still there", claimed Townend, "and he'll come on hugely for it and hopefully we can keep him in one piece now".

Ruby Walsh was also interviewed after the race, and felt he "showed plenty of spark and fizz.

"Listening to Willie there he's on about dropping him back in trip and he's probably right."

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Altior Cheltenham Festival Clonmel Douvan King George VI Paul Townend Road To Respect Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins

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