Both Altior and Douvan are Champions in their own right and are two of the most exciting horses in training. Both have led all before them and have looked virtually unbeatable and this is without a doubt the most anticipated clash of the 2017/18 national hunt season. With Altior side lined and Douvan on the comeback; the clash is most likely to take place in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. This race is the true metal of the greatest 2 miler around at the time and has been a tough race for odds on favourites over the years with many getting turned over.
Altior is now a 7-year-old and improved no end over the last two seasons to a RPR high of 177. That was gained in his most recent run in, defeating the Champion chase winner Special Tiara by 8 lengths with ease. Altior had been improved well in the 2015/16 season beating horses easily but none with proven top level form. Therefore he went into the Supreme Novice hurdle as a 4/1 second favourite behind the Willie Mullins trained Min. Now looking back at the race, it was possibly one of the highest quality contests of the season, with so many of the horses now champions in their own right.
Altior brushed the field aside and stormed clear to win by 7 lengths to stamp his authority over the division. Since then it has been win after win with a combined winning distance of 87 lengths over his next 3 runs. Altior then had his first real test over the larger obstacles, facing off against Fox Norton in the Betfair exchange chase and he once again brushed a high class horse aside with ease. A more workman like display in the Arkle at Cheltenham followed but he still managed a winning distance of 6 lengths. With bigger tests ahead this season the clash with the Mullins star is one to savour for all racing fans; Champion v Champion.
Douvan is also a 7 year and is one of the most elegant race horses running today, he just seems to go through the gears and do things effortlessly and leave horses’ trailing. He is currently the highest rated horse in training with an RPR high of 178. A prime example of this would be his dispatching of now Gold Cup winning horse Sizing John on numerous occasions by 7/8 lengths on the bridle. How good could Douvan be? This is a question many racing fans want the answer to, because when you look at his career he has never really been tested or given a situation that allows him to show his true talent. Douvan moved over to the Mullins team in November of 2014 having won 1 of his 2 starts in France.
Douvan won his first two races with ease before moving on to the Supreme novice with Mullins quoting pre-race that ‘this is the best horse I have ever brought to Cheltenham’. Surprisingly he still went off at 2/1 but beat stable mate Shaneshill by over 4 lengths. 5 easy wins followed including an Arkle at the Cheltenham festival as people began to envisage Douvan could be one of the all-time greats. He had won all 13 starts for Mullins and went into the Champion Chase as the shortest 2/9 favourite of the festival but injury mid race stopped his chances. He is set to make his reappearance within the coming weeks.
If you look at the latest horse racing betting, Betfair have Altior at 7/4 and Douvan 5/2 for the Queen Mother as of 29/11/2017. If both make the race in top form you can expect this to be one of the greatest races in national hunt history and one to remember to the likes of Kauto Star v Denman.