Won a grade 2 2m½f Supreme Novices Hurdle Trial in November 2015
Won the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2016
Won the Arkle in 2017
He has proven himself to be effective on any going description, from 5-5-0 on good, to 4-3-1 on soft.
Nico De Boinville has a perfect record on him (10-10-0), as does Noel Fehily (3-3-0). Barry Geraghty (1-0-1) and Katie Harrington (1-0-0) were beaten on him in his bumper days.
He is unbeaten in fields of 7 or less (8-8-0).
He’s unbeaten when back out within 60 days of his last start (8-8-0).
Really, the main thing to take from this profile is that he is proven at the track, versatile in terms of ground, and unbeaten in his last 12 starts, including 5-5-0 over hurdles and 7-7-0 over fences.
Overall Record: 15 runs – 5 wins – 2 places
Cheltenham record: 2-0-0
5th in the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2016
Fell in the Arkle Chase in 2017
Seems to prefer softer ground – 5-3-1 on soft or worse, compared to 10-2-1 on good to soft or better.
Patrick Mullins has a 100% record on him (2-2-0), while D R Bass has also done well on him (11-3-2). The only other jockeys to have rode him are Noel Fehily (1-0-0) and K E Power (1-0-0).
He has tended to come up short in grade 1’s (7-0-0). 2-0-1 in grade 2’s and 1-1-0 in listed races.
His record isn’t particularly strong in small fields (8-2-1 in fields of 7 or less). However, he has finished outside the places on both starts in fields of 12 or more (2-0-0). 5-3-1 in fields of between 8 and 11 runners.
He seems to run well fresh – 3-2-0 after over 120 days off the track, and he also won on his first start of his career. 11-2-2 after a shorter break.
He starts the season well (2-2-0 in October). This makes sense considering his strong record after a long break. It does drop to 5-0-2 in November/December but his record in February is strong (2-2-0). 3-1-0 in March and 3-0-0 in April.
A slight preference for left-handed tracks is possible (7-3-1 with form of 11251F3 compared to 8-2-1 with form of 14215244 going right-handed).
He has a strong record on flat tracks (4-3-0). 6-1-2 on tracks with slight undulations and 5-1-0 on more undulating tracks.
Overall Record: 14 runs – 13 wins – 0 places
Cheltenham record: 3-2-0
Won the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2015
Won the Arkle Chase in 2016
7th in the Champion Chase in 2017
He has won two grade ones at the festival. However, it could be suggested that Douvan doesn’t run as well here as elsewhere. If we look at his novice hurdling season, Douvan beat Sizing John by 12 lengths at Gowran before beating him by just 7 lengths in the Supreme, then by just over 7 lengths at Punchestown. In his novice chasing season, he beat Sizing John by 18 lengths at Leopardstown, then by 7 lengths in the Arkle, then by 22 lengths at Punchestown. If we use Sizing John as a yardstick, we see him getting closer than ever to Douvan on the two occasions that they ran at Cheltenham. Of course, Sizing John’s subsequent Gold Cup win suggests that the reason for this could just be that he runs very well at Cheltenham.
He is proven on all types of ground, from good to soft (4-3-0) to heavy (2-2-0).
3 jockeys have taken the reins – Patrick Mullins (1-1-0), Paul Townend (3-3-0) and Ruby Walsh (10-9-0).
There is no real point in going through his whole profile as he has won on almost all of his starts.
Overall Record: 31 runs – 7 wins – 8 places
Cheltenham record: 4-0-1
14th in a class 3 2m 5f handicap hurdle in November 2013
2nd in the Arkle in 2015
4th in the Champion Chase in 2016
5th in the Champion Chase in 2017
It could be the case that moderate ground is key – 15-5-4 on good to yielding and good to soft. 8-1-2 on soft ground and 8-1-2 on good ground, so something in the middle may be best.
Paddy Brennan has rode him on the majority of his starts (22-6-5). Adrian Heskin has been less successful on his 7 rides (7-0-2), while Barry Geraghty (1-1-0) and Aodhaghan Conlon (1-0-0) each rode him once.
He is a proven grade one horse with 3 wins at this level (12-3-3).
Win records may suggest a slight preference for smaller fields (25-6-6 in fields of 11 or less, 6-1-2 in fields of 12 or more). However, win/place strike rates are almost identical.
Winless when back out within 2 weeks of his last start (3-0-0). Howver, being back out relatively quickly seems to be a plus – 20-5-7 when back out within 90 days of his last start compared to 7-1-1 after a longer break.
Despite good records in November (7-3-1) and February (3-1-1), his overall record from October to March (24-4-6) isn’t as strong as at the end of the season (7-3-2 in April/May). 4-0-1 in March.
He probably runs better at right-handed tracks (18-5-4 compared to 13-2-4 going left-handed).
His record at very undulating tracks such as Cheltenham isn’t great (7-1-1) compared to flat tracks and those with less extreme undulations (24-6-7).
Overall Record: 8 runs – 6 wins – 2 places
Cheltenham record: 1-0-1
2nd in the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2016
He has actually been beaten twice on better ground (3-1-2 on good to soft or yielding). 5-5-0 on yielding to soft or worse, including 2-2-0 on heavy. I’m not sure that better ground is actually an inconvenience, but he clearly handles difficult conditions.
Ruby Walsh usually rides (5-4-1). Paul Townend (2-1-1) and David Mullins (1-1-0) have also been on board in the past.
Both of his losses were in grade one contests (3-1-2). 2-2-0 in grade two races.
Both losses came at left-handed tracks (5-3-2). 3-3-0 going right-handed.
It’s dangerous to go through as horse’s form and find reasons for losses when there are only two of them – in this case, he ran a very good race in the Supreme to finish 2nd behind Altior, who went on to prove himself to be a fantastic horse. He was also beaten at Leopardstown over Christmas despite passing the post first – this could be down to the bounce factor or race tactics, but he certainly wasn’t himself that day.
Overall Record: 14 starts – 7 wins – 1 place
Cheltenham Record: 3-0-0
Unseated in a 2m 1f class 3 novices hurdle here in December 2015
20th in the Coral Cup in 2016
4th in the JLT in 2017
Wants some sort of cut in the ground – 3-0-0 on good ground, 3-3-0 on good to soft and 8-4-1 on worse.
Sam Twiston-Davies normally rides (12-5-1) but Harry Cobden has been on board twice (2-2-0).
Probably prefers a smaller field (10-6-1 in fields of 7 or less, 4-1-0 in fields of 8 or more).
Starts the season well (2-2-0 November, 5-3-0 December, 1-0-1 January, 3-2-0 February) before this drops (3-0-0 in March and April).
Strong preference for right-handed tracks (6-6-0 compared to 8-1-1 going left-handed).
Possible preference for flat tracks (5-3-1 compared to 9-4-0 on tracks with more undulations).
Overall Record: 32 runs – 7 wins – 9 places
Cheltenham record: 8-1-3
3rd in the listed 2m Shloer Chase in November 2013
6th in the Champion Chase in 2014
3rd in the Champion Chase in 2015
3rd in the Champion Chase in 2016
3rd in the grade 2 2m Shloer Chase in November 2016
5th in the grade 1 2m½f Clarence House Chase in January 2017
Won the Champion Chase in 2017
3rd in the grade 2 2m Shloer Chase in November 2017
He probably prefers decent ground (18-5-5 on good to soft or better, 14-2-4 on yielding to soft or worse). However, he is 3-0-2 on heavy, so has shown some versatility in this regard.
A large number of jockeys have been on board throughout his career – Noel Fehily (13-3-4), Phillip Enrihgt (5-2-3), Barry Geraghty (2-1-0) and Bryan Cooper (2-1-0) are the only winners. The others were A E Lynch (4-0-1), Davy Russell (2-0-0), D P McDonagh (1-0-1), and Andrew McNamara, Robbie Power and Brian Hayes (1-0-0 each).
He has been successful in grade one company (including this race last year). 12-3-4 at this level.
He may prefer larger fields (4-2-2 in fields of 12 or more).
He seems to run well when back out relatively quickly (20-6-4 when back out within 60 days of his last start, 11-1-4 after a longer break).
7-0-2 in October/November but 4-2-1 in December. 3-0-0 in January/February but 5-1-2 in March and 6-2-1 in April. 4-1-3 from May to July. 2-0-0 in August, 1-1-0 in September.
He has a slightly better record going right-handed (16-5-4 compared to 16-2-5 going left-handed).
The majority of his wins have come on flat tracks (11-4-2). 21-3-7 on more undulating tracks (a fairly similar place record).