Reve de Sivola primed to complete Long Walk four-timer

Owner Paul Duffy expects Reve De Sivola to put up a bold show in his bid for a fourth successive victory in today’s JLT Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Reve de Sivola primed to complete Long Walk four-timer

The Nick Williams-trained 10-year-old has made the Grade One feature his own in recent years, completing his hat-trick with a particularly thrilling victory over Zarkandar 12 months ago.

He made a pleasing reappearance when sixth in the Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil last month and with conditions in his favour, Duffy is keeping his fingers crossed his pride and joy can emulate the great Baracouda, who won the Long Walk four times between 2000 and 2004.

“It would be a fantastic achievement if he could win it four times. He’d get the credit he deserves,” said the owner.

“He acquitted himself well in his last race in Auteuil and the ground wasn’t wet enough for him. We’re hoping it’s going to be soft to heavy at Ascot. The more it rains, the better for us.

“It tend to come up soft, the course suits him so we’re just hoping for a good run.

“I think the competition is hotter this year, but he’s well and hopefully he’ll run his normal decent race.

“He’s the horse they will have to catch.”

Despite his formidable record at the Berkshire circuit, Reve De Sivola is only third in the betting, with the Paul Nicholls-trained Saphir Du Rheu and Colin Tizzard’s Thistlecrack disputing favouritism.

Saphir Du Rheu saw off Reve De Sivola in last season’s Cleeve Hurdle before finding only Cole Harden too strong in the World Hurdle back at Cheltenham in March.

He was considered a live contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the start of this season, but after being beaten into fifth when favourite for last month’s Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, he reverts to the smaller obstacles in a bid to emulate legendary former stable companion Big Buck’s, a three-time winner of this race.

Nicholls said: “He seems in good order and schooled over hurdles on Monday. My only concern would this be too quick after having a hard run in the Hennessy.”

The field is completed by Gordon Elliott’s Irish challenger Taglietelle.

“He’s given his owners a lot of fun, but the handicapper probably has him now and he’s just below the top graded level,” said Elliott.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox