Walsh: bookies mad in the head to make Douvan 5-1

Ruby Walsh: little sympathy for bookmakers

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) Walsh: bookmakers 'mad in the head' with Douvan By David Baxter 3:41PM 30 NOV 2016

RUBY WALSH has weighed in on the gamble on Douvan for Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek, describing bookmakers as "mad in the head" for initially pricing the six-year-old as big as 5-1 for the Grade 1.

While last season's Arkle winner has yet to be confirmed for the race by trainer Willie Mullins, the rush of money on Tuesday, when he was backed in to 4-7 in a less than an hour, suggests he could attempt to extend his marvellous unbeaten record at Sandown.

Douvan has not been bested in ten starts for Mullins, including the Arkle and Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 2015.

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Walsh, writing in his Paddy Power blog, said: "Willie Mullins will make a decision on Douvan running at declaration time, but whoever priced him at 4-1 and 5-1 ante-post was mad in the head anyway.

"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."

Walsh added: "If the bookmakers decided for some reason to price Douvan like he wasn't going to run, that's their problem. Not ours."

Fluctuating market

There is no shortage of intrigue in a haywire ante-post market, as stablemate Un De Sceaux was backed into 2-1 (from 4) on Wednesday, while Douvan was pushed out to 6-4.

Such is the unstable betting nature of the race, several firms chose to suspend betting on a contest which will become a lot clearer once declarations are revealed on Thursday morning.

With the Gary Moore pair of Sire De Grugy and Ar Mad also in line to race on Saturday the Tingle Creek is shaping up to be a cracker and Walsh is happy with both of the Mullins runners.

"I expect him [Douvan] to run a big race if he takes part, but I also expectUn De Sceaux to do the same if he runs," he said.

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