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Grand National Festival: Douvan to destroy Maghull rivals

| 09.04.2016

David Metcalf | April 8, 2016

Douvan set to dazzle again

Douvan is a real class act, so looks a worthy longs odds-on favourite to land the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree (15:00).

The gelding won all four of his starts last season after joining top Irish trainer Willie Mullins, and they included a breathtaking success in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Douvan had the potential to make up into up into a Champion Hurdle horse, but connections decided to go down the chasing route and he has won all four of his starts this season over the larger obstacles in impressive fashion.

After landing a minor contest at Navan on his seasonal reappearance, the six-year-old went on land the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leoparstown and the and Grade 1 Irish Arkle at the same venue without barely having to break sweat.

Awesome in the Arkle

DOUVAN with R Walsh wins Arkle Chase at Cheltenham 15-3-16.

Douvan then put in another awesome display when last seen in action at the Cheltenham Festival, romping to a seven-length success in the Arkle Challenge Trophy.

He jumped and travelled well throughout and won with far more in hand than the winning margin suggests.

An official rating of 161 puts Douvan in a different league to his rivals and, granted a clear round, this is his for the taking.

Alisier D’irlande an improving sort

Should Douvan fail to live up to expectations, fellow Irish raider Alisier D’irlande looks the one most likely to take advantage.


Trained by Henry De Bromhead, the six-year-old fell on his chasing debut at Fairyhouse when miles clear and travelling strongly.

Since then, Alisier D’irlande has gone on to register wide margain successes at Naas and Leopardstown. On both occasions the gelding has made all and jumped well to win with real authority.

This race is by far the toughest task Alisier D’irlande to date, but the track should suit his running style and the son of Kapgarde looks an exciting progressive prospect who should have plenty more to offer.


For more Grand National Festival race tips and previews, visit our Aintree page.

Coral’s top tip: Douvan is in a different league to his rivals and impossible to oppose. Alisier D’irlande looks the one for the forecast.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.