Connections say Fox Norton is ready to take on the Willie Mullins star Douvan in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
Douvan won his first 13 races after departing France including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival and the Arkle Trophy at Prestbury Park the following year.
The Tingle Creek is set to be Douvan’s first outing since a surprise loss in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
The Colin Tizzard-trained Fox Norton managed an impressive win at Cheltenham last month and connections hope he can come up with a big performance to down Douvan.
Joe Tizzard, Colin’s son and assistant, told the Irish Independent: “[The] Tingle Creek has been the plan for Fox Norton since the end of last season.
We had a lovely run on his reappearance at Cheltenham when he was mightily impressive.
“It will be interesting to see if Douvan comes over or not, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Douvan is 1.80 to win the Tingle Creek on Saturday, Fox Norton is 3.25 and Un De Sceaux can be backed at 9.00.
Douvan is 3.75 to win the 2018 Champion Chase and Fox Norton is 7.00, with Altior rated as the 2.50 favourite.