Douvan proves to be highest-rated horse
Douvan was crowned the highest-rated National Hunt horse of last season at the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications yesterday, an event hosted by the British Horseracing Authority and Irish Turf Club.
The Willie Mullins-trained chaser achieved a rating of 174 for his eight-length defeat of subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John (169) in the Grade One Paddy Power Cashcard Chase at Leopardstown in December. Douvan lost out, surprisingly, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
His rating of 174 puts him level with the likes of Big Zeb and Azertyuiop in the ranks of top two-mile chasers since the commencement of the Classifications, but marginally behind last year's champion chaser Sprinter Sacre, who was rated 1lb higher.
Phil Smith, head of handicapping for the BHA, said: "Douvan, the previous season's top novice, improved his rating from 169 to 174 thanks to a scintillating performance at Leopardstown at Christmas where he beat the future Gold Cup winner."