Douvan is highly rated by Willie Mullins and is the favoured ride of Ruby Walsh in the festival opener, but is yet to face such a tough field and looks too short in the betting. Instead it could be worth taking a chance on stablemate Shaneshill at 11/1 with Betvictor (10/1 Risk Free Skybet & William Hill).
The selection was a gallant second to Silver Concorde in the Champion Bumper at last year’s festival before gaining revenge on that horse at Punchestown and has been just as good over hurdles. Shaneshill was an easy winner when long odds on at Fairyhouse on his hurdling debut before finishing second in a Navan Grade 2 and today’s drop back in trip is likely to suit the 6-year-old down to the ground.
Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge could be the fly in the ointment and it must be noted that the handler has gone close in this event in recent renewals, but at the current odds Shaneshill looks like a cracking each-way bet to beat stablemate Douvan up the hill.