Sivola team eye World domination
Connections hope Reve De Sivola is a live Ladbrokes World Hurdle candidate following his Ascot win at the weekend.]
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The Nick Williams-trained seven-year-old recorded a 14-length all-the-way success over Smad Place in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.
With Big Buck's ruled out for the season, the staying hurdle division looks wide open and the World Hurdle will be Reve De Sivola's target.
"We were hopeful at Ascot, but you never know until the day when a horse comes back from a long period off through injury," said Paul Duffy, who heads his Diamond Partnership syndicate.
"His first run was encouraging and that was fruition to it. He always stays on, he's a stayer, and we rode him differently because we wanted to make sure it was a staying race.
"The horses behind him weren't as guaranteed to stay as Reve, we thought, and that's why Nick's instructions to Richard Johnson to be there or thereabouts. And he was just relentless.
"The horse is fine. He had a hose down after the race to make sure his joints were fine. We like to think we've got the objective of the World Hurdle.
"Let's keep our fingers crossed he gets there. He has done all right at Cheltenham when he ran against Peddlers Cross in the Neptune Novices' Hurdle at the Festival.
"Rite Of Passage was third and people forget the form of that race has stood up pretty well.
"He hurdled very well on Saturday. He just made one mistake, that's all, and the rest he hurdled very well.
"Big Buck's went back to hurdles and has won 18 races in a row. Before the race we talked about whether or not he went to Cheltenham at the end of January.
"That's a possibility, but we will have to see how he comes out of the race and think carefully about it. Cheltenham takes it out of a horse and do we want to take him there twice?
"The horse will tell us how his well-being is. Sometimes it's quite difficult to keep a horse in training, fit and ready to run.
"We've come to learn week by week with horses it's full of uncertainties and you have to enjoy the highs."