On the back of Douvan’s eleventh graded victory for Willie Mullins (8 x Grade 1), in the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown, we look back on the day Douvan came to town…
You could sense the anticipation and excitement in the air from an early stage on what was a perfect day for National Hunt Racing. He was declared to run in our feature race, The Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase. This added to what was already shaping up to be a brilliant day of National Hunt Racing at Cork Racecourse.
Douvan entered the parade ring with the air of a celebrity, watched by hundreds eager to get a thorough look at genius in equine form. Much like his races, he took it all in his stride. The packed parade ring, all eyes fixed on one horse evoked memories of the day Istabraq rolled into town. It was very special to see so many people who may not be regular racegoers come out to witness a horse of a lifetime.
This was Douvan’s eagerly awaited first appearance of the season. His novice chase campaign had culminated in him winning a treble of Grade Ones at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown. On what is a short enough roll call, other horses to achieve this festival treble include Sprinter Sacre and Istabraq! True greats of National Hunt Racing.
The son of Walk In The Park did his father proud as that is exactly how the race unfolded for Douvan. A horse who holds such strong claims for the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March stamped his class on this two mile steeplechase, winning by 22 lengths in the expert hands of Cork jockey, Paul Townend.
A huge round of applause greeted both horse and jockey as they made their way back to the warmest of welcomes. A moment made all the more special for Paul Townend at his local track. On a day to remember, Paul would head home with four winners to his name!
On what was a great day’s racing, other highlights included Dr. Mikey’s win in our second race for trainer Margaret Flynn, Gordon Elliott’s juvenile hurdler Dinaria Des Obeaux and Knockraha Pylon who was a popular winner in the two mile handicap hurdle for Cork trainer Adrian Maguire with yes, you guessed it, Paul Townend aboard.
Thanks to Willie Mullins, Rich Ricci and all connections for bringing Douvan to Cork and we look forward to welcoming you all back in the future. We would also like to thank all of our customers who contributed greatly to making this such a special day for Cork Racecourse.
Paul Townend and Douvan return to a great reception.
The next meeting at Cork Racecourse Mallow is Cork’s RedFM Student Race Day on Thursday 23rd of March.