Douvan romps home at sodden Leopardstown
Douvan was an imperious winner of the Racing Post Novice Chase under replacement rider Patrick Mullins at Leopardstown.
Only four went to post for the Grade One feature, and while all were of significant ability the Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner oozed class in making it two from two over the larger obstacles.
Willie Mullins' five-year-old was expected to have a fight on his hands for the lead with Jessica Harrington's Ttebbob, but Douvan's jumping immediately put that rival under pressure and he was eventually pulled up.
Sizing John closed after Douvan made a semblance of a mistake at the second-last, but Mullins knew what he had underneath him.
Without asking for an effort Douvan began to pull away again and while he was not fluent at the last, he never looked like falling and the 4-7 favourite coasted home, nearly eased to a walk at the line in winning by 18 lengths.
Paul Townend was supposed to take the mount on the Rich Ricci-owned victor, but after returning from injury after a spell out, he had a fall in the first race and stood himself down.