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Douvan fully justifies the chat

Douvan and Paul Townend turn on the style at GowranDouvan and Paul Townend turn on the style at Gowran
© Photo Healy Racing

In his Irish Examiner column Ruby Walsh described Douvan as "a big, gorgeous horse, who is going to be some machine when filling out his frame," and that certainly looks the case after the four-year-old by Walk In The Park justified heavy market confidence in style in the Santa Train At Gowran Park Novice Hurdle.

Douvan (8/15) made the running under Paul Townend, with Sizing John close up. He was joined three out but led again travelling well at the next. It was soon a question of how far and Douvan eventually achieved an easy twelve length success over his aforementioned opponent.

"He's a nice big horse and he'll be a chaser down the line.

"He could be anything and he'll have no trouble going out in trip," disclosed winning trainer Willie Mullins, doubling up after Tells Us More's earlier win.

"He's a good horse. He was showing us plenty at home and it's nice for him to show it at the racecourse then," said Townend.

"He obviously had plenty of schooling done in France and he's a natural. He's a lovely horse – a fine big horse with a big stride on him. We think he could be very good. He's exciting and hopefully he can go right to the top.

"As the day goes on the ground is just opening up and we've come wide for the bit of fresher ground. It's very testing, it's deep but loose at the same time.

"This lad is very exciting, we think he's the real deal. It's nice for him to do it at the racecourse – to go and prove what they're showing at home is right.

"Hopefully he can build on that and go on to better and bigger things." (AM & EM)