Ruby Walsh has described the initial odds of 5-1 quoted by bookmakers for Douvan in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase as "crazy".
Last season's Arkle Trophy winner is unbeaten over fences and is odds-on at around 4-6 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, yet some layers felt obliged to price him up as fourth favourite for the Sandown showpiece on Saturday.
Willie Mullins, who also has Un De Sceaux in the race, has yet to firm up plans which may have been the reason for the bookmakers' decision.
Backed down to as low as 4-7 on Tuesday, Douvan was a shade odds against at around 11-8 on Wednesday with his stablemate second best at 11-4.
“Willie Mullins will make a decision on Douvan running in the Tingle Creek Chase at declaration time, but pricing him up at 4-1 or 5-1 was crazy,” Walsh told his Paddy Power blog.
“He’s the odds-on favourite for the Champion Chase, is unbeaten since he joined us in Closutton, and we’ve never made any secret of how highly we rate him – and the reigning champ Sprinter Sacre was retired a few weeks ago.
“Gary Moore’s Ar Mad put in a hell of a performance here last year, but hasn’t run since February after getting injured, while his stablemate Sire De Grugy is rising 11 in a month’s time. Most of the others are also more exposed.
“If the bookmakers decided for some reason to price Douvan like he wasn’t going to run, that’s their problem, not ours. I expect him to run a big race if he takes part, but I also expect Un De Sceaux to do the same if he runs.
“Don’t forget Willie entered both at the initial entry stage and hadn’t said anything to contradict that before the bookies’ alarm bells started ringing yesterday.”