Douvan and Faugheen will be back as brilliant as ever predicts Walsh

Faugheen: Ruby Walsh has issued an upbeat bulletin on the former Champion Hurdle winner
Faugheen: Ruby Walsh has issued an upbeat bulletin on the former Champion Hurdle winnerCredit: Caroline Norris

Ruby Walsh believes Douvan and Faugheen will make 100 per cent recoveries from their injury problems and return to their best this season.

Douvan lost his unbeaten record for Willie Mullins when suffering a shock defeat as the 2-9 favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, while Faugheen has not been seen since destroying Arctic Fire by 15 lengths in the Irish Champion Hurdle in January of 2016.

Walsh said: "The last time Faugheen ran at Leopardstown he looked unbeatable – he's in great order. He's a cracking racehorse and looks to be progressing well to me.

"If he keeps going the way he's going at home at the moment, he'll be back. There's no reason to suggest he won't come back to his best."

Douvan scores at Leopardstown over Christmas
Douvan scores at Leopardstown over ChristmasCredit: Caroline Norris

Walsh, speaking at the launch of the Dublin Racing Festival, was similarly upbeat about the progress of Douvan.

He reported: "Willie has not let me ride him yet but he looks very well. He's in great order.

"His injury was a bone injury and a much better injury to get than a ligament or a tendon or anything like that. With bone problems it's just rest, ligaments and tendons are a very different story.

"He should return to 100 per cent, and he certainly looks 100 per cent."

The duo feature in various Cheltenham Festival ante-post markets, with Faugheen an 8-1 shot for the Stan James Champion Hurdle and Douvan 3-1 second favourite for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.

2018 Stan James Champion Hurdle (March 13)

Sponsor: 3 Buveur D'Air, 7 Defi Du Seuil, 8 Faugheen, 10 Apple's Jade, Yorkhill, 16 bar.

2018 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (March 14)

Sponsor: 5-4 Altior, 3 Douvan, 13-2 Yorkhill, 8 Fox Norton, 10 Min, 16 bar.

David JenningsDeputy Ireland editor

Published on 25 September 2017inNews

Last updated 21:02, 25 September 2017