Tony McCoy has compared last season’s Arkle winner Douvan to the two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Kauto Star.

Douvan, who is unbeaten in his ten starts for Willie Mullins, was due to take his chance in the Tingle Creek at Sandown on Saturday, but has sidestepped the two-mile showpiece and now looks likely to go for the Hilly Way Chase at Cork on Sunday.

Kauto Star also claimed the Tingle Creek prize in 2006, en route to winning jumping’s biggest prize the following spring.

McCoy, writing in his William Hill blog, rates Douvan highly, stating that he is an “exceptional horse” while also saying that he measures up favourably to Paul Nicholls’ star.

"Exceptional horses can win over any distance and make no mistake, Douvan could be exceptional"

"I think if you could choose one horse in training to own it would probably be Douvan, it’s a huge comparison, but there are similarities with Kauto Star,” said the multiple champion jockey.

"Douvan has the talent to win over two miles and three miles and he could be even better over the longer trip.

"Brilliant champions like Kauto Star and Desert Orchid are capable of doing that. Exceptional horses can win over any distance and make no mistake, Douvan could be exceptional. I’d love to own him."