DOUVAN’S odds for Cheltenham Festival glory were slashed after an emphatic comeback win at Clonmel.
Willie Mullins’ star chaser made light work of a good field in the Clonmel Oil Chase, sending his price into free fall for the Ryanair Chase.
The injury-plagued nine-year-old has only been seen twice since suffering a stress fracture to his pelvis in the Champion Chase in 2017.
He was punted off the boards into 4-5 favourite on his return from a 569-day absence on Thursday, and the result rarely looked in doubt.
Jockey Paul Townend gunned him into the fifth last fence and the eight-time Grade 1 winner responded with a massive leap into the lead, a move which proved race-winning.
He was even able to afford an iffy jump at the last as he coasted across the line to beat Jett (16-1) by nine and a half lengths. Monalee (9-4) was a disappointing third.
More to follow