Reve De Sivola on course for Cleeve
Reve De Sivola will bid to cement his World Hurdle credentials when lining up in the Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle over three miles at Cheltenham on January 26.
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Trained by Nick Williams, Reve De Sivola was the impressive 14-length winner of the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on his latest start, having previously finished second to Big Buck's at Newbury.
The eight-year-old had been a high-class novice hurdler during the 2009/10 season, winning a pair of Grade One events, but he failed to transfer that form to fences over the next two seasons, prompting connections to go back over the smaller obstacles.
"I have been happy with Reve De Sivola since his win at Ascot and we are looking at running him in the Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle," said Williams.
"I wasn't really surprised by his performance at Ascot because he is a Grade One horse. We decided to switch back to hurdles from chasing because he wasn't jumping his fences properly.
"Heavy ground isn't crucial to him but it is kinder on his legs because he has had time off with tendon issues. He will go on the quicker ground but we will be a bit more anxious.
"The Ladbrokes World Hurdle is the big target for him. Reve De Sivola is rated 166 and Oscar Whisky is rated 1lb higher, and I have always thought Oscar Whisky would stay three miles so I don't think there is a lot between them."
Reve De Sivola is quoted at 7/1 for the race by Sky Bet and Williams was hardly discouraging over his charge's prospects.
"I think the other horses in the betting are speculative because they haven't got top-class form at the trip and are suspect stayers," he said. "My horse is a genuine stayer and has a lot of class - I think he is the one to beat.
"I keep reminding people a day is a long a time in the life of a racehorse but two months is an eternity because they are so fragile. I wanted to run a horse in the Lanzarote Hurdle [on Saturday] but he picked up a little problem a few days ago."
The Cleeve Hurdle serves as a principal trial for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival and the £60,000 contest was won in great style by Big Buck's 12 months ago.
Intirguingly, Oscar Whisky has also already been mooted as an intended starter in the Cleeve by trainer Nicky Henderson.