Ricci considers Douvan gameplan

Owner Rich Ricci has admitted the death of Vautour could see Douvan take a different route this season.

Douvan could step up in trip

Douvan is unbeaten since joining Willie Mullins and has won at the last two Cheltenham Festivals.

He has yet to run over further than two miles and a furlong, but has been entered in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day – a race in which Vautour finished second last year – and could now be asked to step up in trip.

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"I would say that before any of this happened (the death of Vautour) this weekend, we would have said we'd stay over two miles this year and maybe step him (Douvan) up in trip next year," Ricci told At The Races.

"We will have to see. He would need a run before he goes and does that. He's only a second-season novice so it's a big ask.

"I think clearly he's a Champion Chase contender and we'll have to see how the season pans out.

"But I would say right now we will stick to two miles and maybe step up in trip for something like the King George, but the Cheltenham target would most likely be the Champion Chase."

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