Douvan to shine at Punchestown
Frank Monkhouse | 5 February 2017
We give a pick in every race
A quality card at Punchestown gives horse racing punters a real interest on Sunday and you can bet throughout the day right here at Coral.
Of the seven races scheduled, the Grade Two Tied Cottage Chase tops the bill, with the line-up expected to post at 3.00pm. We have just four runners to work with, and none of them will get anywhere near Willie Mullins’ pride Douvan, if the betting is to be believed.
No unlucky 13 on Sunday
On paper, this looks little more than a chance for followers of the game, with one eye on Cheltenham, to get a look at the seven-year-old as he aims to extend his record to a perfect 13 wins from 13 contests. Very few, if any at all, are expecting 13 to be an unlucky number for the team.
Last seen keeping up appearances at Leopardstown on December 27th in a grade one chase over two-miles one-furlong, he led the field home by eight-lengths that day, with Sizing John ending as runner-up. The main battle again on Sunday will be who can finish best of the rest, and perhaps try to keep within a respectable margin.
Little change expected at Cheltenham Festival
Douvan is currently odds-on for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, while he is being quoted much bigger if he was to have a crack at the Ryanair Chase on Thursday. Interestingly, Sizing John is a lot shorter in that market.
Victory here won’t have much of an impact on those festival prices, the result is to be expected, while defeat probably wouldn’t force horse racing traders into a knee-jerk reaction either. But that won’t happen – will it?
Mullins sees no danger
We heard from trainer Willie Mullins in the run-up to this race, who told followers with their ear to the ground that he has been very happy with Douvan and this test comes at, what appears to be, a very good time for him in his progression. Having won around Punchestown in the past, the venue provides little worry for the trainer either.
Jockey Ruby Walsh, who takes the reigns here, backed that up by telling punters that the fans-favourite is in great order and should be able to deal with the challenges racing in a Grade Two presents, with little hassle.
1.30 – Cilaos Emery
2.00 – The Crafty Butcher
2.30 – Colour Squadron
3.00 – Douvan
3.30 – Velocity Boy
4.00 – As De Pique
4.30 – Clitandre