Ricci: Douvan to step up after Vautour loss
Owner Rich Ricci has revealed that the death of Vautour could see Douvan take a different route this season.
Douvan - unbeaten since joining Willie Mullins - has yet to run over further than two miles and a furlong, but has been entered in the King George at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.
"I would say that before any of this happened (the death of Vautour), we would have said we'd stay over two miles this year and maybe step him (Douvan) up in trip next year," Ricci told At The Races.
"We will have to see. He would need a run before he goes and does that. He's only a second-season novice so it's a big ask.
"He's a Champion Chase contender and we'll have to see how the season pans out. I would say right now we will stick to two miles and maybe step up in trip for something like the King George, but the Champion Chase is the likely Cheltenham target."
Faugheen and Annie Power, the last two winners of the Champion Hurdle, appear increasingly likely to be kept apart if both make it to the Cheltenham Festival in March.