Douvan: winner of ten races – seven at Grade 1 level – for Willie Mullins
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Andrew Dietz 12:35PM 2 DEC 2016
DOUVAN might be in the early phase of his career but Sir Anthony McCoy has bestowed the ultimate accolade upon last season’s Racing Post Arkle winner by comparing him to the mighty Kauto Star.
Although the Willie Mullins-trained star’s absence from the Betfair Tingle Creek has denied Sandown racegoers the chance to see him in the flesh, McCoy believes he measures up favourably to two of the greatest winners of the two-mile showpiece.
In his William Hill blog, McCoy said: “I think if you could choose one horse in training to own it would probably be Douvan. It’s a huge comparison, but there are similarities with Kauto Star. Douvan has the talent to win over two miles and three miles and he could be even better over the longer trip.
“Brilliant champions like Kauto Star and Desert Orchid are capable of doing that. Exceptional horses can win over any distance and make no mistake, Douvan could be exceptional. I’d love to own him.”
Douvan is unbeaten in ten starts for Mullins and ended last season with novice chase victories in Grade 1s at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown.
Although holding an entry in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown on Sunday week, he appears set to stick to the shorter distance and go to Cork on the same day for the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase over 2m½f.
McCoy in the Grugy corner
Mullins will rely on Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek and although McCoy thinks he sets the standard, the 20-time champion jockey will be cheering on another former winner.
“Willie Mullins must think Un De Sceaux has a good chance of winning as he’s pulled Douvan out of the race,” he added.
“Sire De Grugy got back to a good standard at Ascot and listening to Gary Moore, it sounds like Ar Mad will improve for the run. It would be great to see Sire De Grugy win.”