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Douvan: a rugged, handsome, bearded man among boys

Willie Mullins has a strong team for the third day of the festival
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Do make sure to watch this race. Do enjoy the brilliant beast in full flight. Do press record and watch it over and over again. Do not be temped to ignore the obvious. Douvan.

Ever since Willie Mullins revealed Douvan was sticking to two miles this season, the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase has been a done deal for most punters.

He has always been odds-on, there has never been a rival to threaten his superiority and he has never once looked like his ability was dwindling. Quite simply, he looks a rugged, handsome, bearded man among a bunch of boys.

Douvan has never been beaten since he checked into his Closutton hotel. He has been to Cheltenham twice and won impressively both times, landing the Supreme in 2015 by a cosy four and a half lengths and a year later destroying his Racing Post Arkle rivals by seven lengths.

Since his triumph at last year's festival, Douvan has won all five starts and had yet to accelerate out of second gear. The mind boggles when considering how good he could be when he finally does find third gear, and maybe even fourth. Perhaps that is something we might find out if he tackles Altior next season.

Ruby Walsh knows most of us have him already chalked down as the 2017 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, but what does it feel like to be riding the shortest-priced favourite of the entire week?

"Douvan is Douvan," replied Walsh. "He's the best horse and his form is rock-solid. There are no negatives when it comes to Douvan. The only thing that could potentially stop him is bad luck, so let's hope that doesn't happen."

David Casey, Mullins' assistant trainer, has been delighted with Douvan in the lead up to the race.

"He looks great and feels great," he said. "He's done nothing wrong throughout his whole career and this season has gone perfectly to script. He's a special horse."

A special horse indeed. You must tune in. And don't forget to record so you can enjoy Douvan over and over again.


Douvan

Pros Imperious prolific winner who stands head and shoulders above his rivals on form

Cons Even with a 2-7 shot there's always a chance of bad luck or an off day.

Champion Chase card and betting

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Douvan is Douvan. He's the best horse and his form is rock-solid. There are no negatives when it comes to Douvan

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