Ricci still hoping for Douvan return this term

Tue 2nd Jan 2018, 14:42

©Healy Racing Photos
Leading owner Rich Ricci has not given up hope of Douvan returning to competitive action before the end of the season.

The Willie Mullins-trained superstar sustained a pelvic injury when suffering a shock defeat in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham last March.

He had been set to reappear in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in early December but was not declared, with Mullins reporting he had not been totally happy with him in the days before the race, opting instead to wait for a possible run at Leopardstown over Christmas.

He subsequently ruled him out for the entire campaign, but a serious problem has still not been identified.

Ricci told talkSPORT2: "Douvan is a real head-scratcher. We're still not entirely convinced we know what's wrong with him because he's absolutely fine.

"As Willie said the other day, we are waiting for a final follow-up report from France to see what we need to do.

"At the moment he's doing plenty of walking and we'll have to see what happens.

"He deserves a chance to do himself justice. I'd love to have him back.

"I'm hoping we could get a run into him this season, but we'll just have to see what the vets say and make a plan."

Mullins targets Leopardstown return for Min

Min is set to return to Leopardstown next month for the Coral Dublin Chase.