Cheltenham 2018: Douvan set to run in Champion Chase

Ruby Walsh will take the ride setting up a clash for the ages with Henderson’s Altior

Ruby Walsh will partner Douvan in Wednesday’s  Champion Chase. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ruby Walsh will partner Douvan in Wednesday’s Champion Chase. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Douvan is set to take his chance in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

Trainer Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci had suggested on Sunday they might avoid a clash with their other hope, Min, and wait for Thursday’s Ryanair Chase.

However, he was among nine horses declared for the two-mile championship and that would set up an intriguing clash with Altior.

Douvan does have a point to prove as he has been out of action since disappointing in this race 12 months ago, when sent off the 2-9 favourite.

Min heads to the Cotswolds on the back of an emphatic victory in the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown.

He has a score to settle with Altior, having been beaten seven lengths when they met in the Supreme in 2016.

Altior won last year’s Arkle as well and Nicky Henderson’s charge showed his well-being when he disposed of Politologue at Newbury last month. He had missed much of the season after having undergone a wind operation in the autumn.

Politologue, trained by Paul Nicholls, renews rivalry.

Last year’s winner Special Tiara goes for glory again. His trainer Henry de Bromhead is also represented by Ordinary World. The field is completed by Ar Mad and Charbel.

The only withdrawal at the 48-hour final declaration stage was the Mullins-trained Un De Sceaux, who is set for the Ryanair.

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