Douvan Is Just A Special Horse

The highlights of the weekend’s racing has to include Douvan.

He was unbelievable and what he could do this year is special.

I also thought that Phillip Hobbs’ 3-year-old Defi Du Seuil at Cheltenham was very good and, obviously, Djakadam was as well so it was a great weekend’s racing.

Weekend Runners
We had a good weekend. We didn’t have any winners but we had plenty of horses running well and a few placed, it was that kind of a weekend.

We had a horse second in a Grade 2 at Doncaster and we had a couple of horses placed in Dundalk, and another was second in Punchestown.

Edwulf was a little unlucky at Navan on Saturday. It was slightly disappointing. He jumped very well but he made a bad mistake with four to go and then missed the second last and the last as well, which was disappointing. He was running a good race and managed to get himself back into it having made a bad blunder. His jumping has been a little bit sketchy, but he’s actually a very good jumper. Maybe it’s going to take racing for him to get the hang of things.

Kalopsia was a good second at Punchestown on Sunday, she had a blinder. She seems to be getting the hang of hurdles in her last couple of starts. Her jumping wasn’t bad but has got a lot better over the last couple of runs so I think that’s where the bit of improvement has come from.

Our runners ran very well at Doncaster at the weekend as well. Paul Nicholls’ horse Cliffs of Dover was very good and looks a class horse. We were second and third to him with Lord Justice and Zig Zag, so we were delighted with that.

Paul Nicholls’ Frodon looked very impressive in winning the Cavalier Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday. He’s had a good campaign, I think he’s won a couple now. He was good and he looks to travel very well.

The International Hurdle came down to a match finish with My Tent or Yours and The New One. It was a great race to watch, with two horses that have been taking each other on for the last few seasons. The two of them looked to be not too far away from their best.

Going chasing would open up a few doors for The New One. I’d imagine he’ll go somewhere over Christmas and just after it and then see where the likes of Faugheen, Annie Power and horses like that are going and then make a decision. It’s a nice option to have for a horse of his class.

My Tent or Yours is a very good horse and is a very strong traveller. They got a lot of rain on the day and I’d say a horse like that could only be better on better ground.

Djakadam & Thistlecrack
Djakadam was very good in the John Durkan at Punchestown and travelled very well. Ruby gave him a great ride. He’s a very high class horse and, if anything he’s probably going to be better this season than last.

It’s nearly impossible to compare Djakadam to Thistlecrack.

Obviously, Djakadam has been at the top of his game for the last few years, whereas Thistlecrack has been a top-class hurdler. But chasing is a different discipline. I suppose when, and if, Thistlecrack gets up into them Grade runs out of Novice company, we’ll see then but Djakadam is a very, very good horse.

Outlander put in a very good performance too, he ran a huge race. Davy Russell gave him a great ride. He’ll be there to pick up the pieces in all them big races if anything falls his way.

All eyes were on Douvan at Cork yesterday.

He was pretty spectacular as he always is.

He’s just a brilliant horse, he loves jumping and he’s got all the speed in the world. It was kind of expected for him to do that but it’s still not an easy thing to do on your first run of the year, so for him to win the way he did was special.

Highland Reel was a bit unlucky in Hong Kong, where he ran a huge race. He just got taken on for the lead down the back straight a little bit and the last 50 yards, where he just got nabbed, might have just cost him. He’s a very, very good horse and he’s an exciting horse to look forward to.